Ontario goalie Martin Benites (in yellow) and his Tiger teammates celebrate the first state title for the Eastern Oregon school
Ontario goalie Martin Benites (in yellow) and his Tiger teammates celebrate the first state title for the Eastern Oregon school

Marist Catholic (4A girls) and Ontario (4A boys) won initial championships, Valley Catholic (girls 3A/2A/1A) returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2017 and Oregon Episcopal School (boys 3A/2A/1A) won for the first time since 2014 in an exciting day of championship soccer on Saturday at sun-splashed Liberty High School in Hillsboro.

We will have full stories in the coming days, but here are brief recaps from the OSAA / OnPoint Community Credit Union Soccer State Championships:

Girls 3A/2A/1A -- Valley Catholic broke a 1-1 regulation tie with three overtime goals to capture the state title, 4-1, over perennial finalist Catlin Gabel in its return to 3A. The Valiants yielded a goal in the opening minute, but got strong as the match went on. They broke through with a second-half goal on a corner kick from Calista Everson that eluded the defense and found the goal; then went ahead for good on a long shot, by Elizabeth Louie in the first overtime, which was mishandled in the goal mouth.

“I tried to put the ball in the air so that it might ricochet and a teammate might get it,” Louie explained. “I was shocked to be honest. I’m happy it went in but was shell shocked at the same time.”

Girls 4A – A bridesmaid five times in its 41-year-history, Marist Catholic is wearing the white dress today after a dominating 4-0 win over repeat finalist Hidden Valley. Junior Cloe Chase scored on a flick in the 30th minute to break a scoreless tie. The Spartans scored three more times after the break, twice by Player of the Game Sela Freeman, to put the game away.

Boys 4A – Ontario senior Jaaziel Chavez scored in the fifth minute and the Tigers made it hold up for their first state championship in program history, a 1-0 decision over feisty Phoenix in a very competitive match. The goal happened when Phoenix’ goal kick went directly to Chavez in space. A speed merchant, the senior maneuvered around one defender and found himself one-on-one with the goalie. He did not miss.

“It was a mistake,” Chavez said. “I just punished them from there. We practice shooting a lot. I was confident in my shot and it went in. And I’m glad it did. Now we’re state champs.”

Boys 3A/2A/1AJulian Ettinger took a Barrett Lindholm corner in the fifth minute and banged it home to give OES a goal that looked like it would be enough as the Aardvarks dominated the first 40 minutes in a 2-1 win over McLoughlin. McLoughlin showed championship spirit, however, and, after yielding another goal with just over 10 minutes to play, the Pioneers played a frenzied final 10 minutes, which included a goal and several excellent chances, before time ran out on them.