Both Hermiston High School soccer teams were bounced from the playoffs in first-round games Thursday and Saturday.

The boys’ team lost to Milwaukie, 1-0, on Thursday and the girls’ squad also dropped a 1-0 decision, but to Liberty on Saturday.

An apparently goal by Hermiston’s Ivan Navarrette in the 42nd minute was waved off by the assistant referee, claiming Navarrette was in an offside position when the ball was played to him.

But Hermiston head coach Rich Harshberger said that goals weren’t going to come easy, as both teams are known for being stout defensively, which turned out to be an excellent job of prognostication by the coach.

“It was exactly what I expected to be,” he said.

The match was scoreless until Josh Whitaker, who was also the Mustangs’ place kicker on the football team when they visited Hermiston, dribbled the ball by a defender and blasted a shot into the net for the match’s only successful strike.

The boys’ team ended the year 4-8-2.

On the girls’ side, a late header by Liberty’s Stephani Jirikovic swept away Hermiston’s postseason dreams. Jirikovic’s headed goal came in the 77th minute of the 80-minute regulation high school soccer match, essentially ending what was a great defensive battle.

Hermiston goalkeeper Hope Butler was a rock in between the posts for the Bulldogs, turning away shot after shot from the Falcon attackers, but that was what head coach Sharok Khabir wanted.

“They had no other places to go but take the shots,” he said. “This was planned to begin with, knowing we have one of the best goalkeepers in the state [Butler].”

Butler was named to the Columbia River Conference first team as a goalkeeper.

Hermiston’s Mikaela Rodriguez had a chance to put the Dawgs on the board after chasing down a loose ball in the 70th minute, but fired her shot high and over the crossbar.

Hermiston ended the season with a 5-5-4 record.

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