Boys Soccer: Strikers Shine in Historic Cleveland Win


Clarion photo Jaden Rapaport

Harry Ritter-West goes for the ball at Gresham High School in the OSAA Quarterfinals

By Jaden Rapaport, Sports Reporter, Photographer

After defeating #21 Newberg and #7 Sunset in the first two rounds, The Warriors headed to Gresham High School to take on the #2 ranked Reynolds Raiders in the last eight with a trip to the semifinals on the line. WIth the two highest scoring teams in the state going head to head, we knew to expect goals but little did anybody know, it would be a game for the ages. 

Just three minutes into the game, Reynolds opened the scoring with a magnificent strike that curled off the post and into the back of the net to give them the early lead. Just a few minutes later however, the warriors won a free kick in a dangerous area that the keeper spilled and was promptly tapped in by captain Jett Starr to make it 1-1. Less than a minute later, Saul Sosa was taken down in the box and a penalty was awarded. Sosa converted from the spot to make it 2-1 to Cleveland after just 12 minutes.

In the 24th minute, the Warriors once again found themselves on a breakaway and this time it was Harry Ritter-West who put the ball in the net for Cleveland, making it 3-1. Not long after Sosa scored another one to make it 4.

A few minutes later, the Raiders answered with a header to pull one back but Mohamed Mohamed scored for Cleveland on the brink of half time to cancel it out and make it 5-2.

Despite their inadequate performance in the first half, Reynolds came out all guns blazing in the second period and scored two goals in the first ten minutes to bring the score to 5-4. They had numerous chances to equalize but were denied thanks to a few great saves by Ibrahm Garza. 

With just 13 minutes left in the game the Warriors once again found themselves on a break and this time it was Aidan Burns who finished making it 6-4 and securing their spot in the semifinals. “As good as we were in the first half, they were in the second half. We weathered the storm and we knew we would get one more breakaway with our speed up top and Aidan got that,” said Head Coach Nick Yoder.

As if the storyline could not get anymore enthralling, Cleveland’s semifinal matchup is against Southeast rivals Franklin who advanced past Grant. Since Franklin is ranked #14, it will be a homecoming for the Warriors and is set to be played on Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. These two teams last met in the final game of the PIL season in a winner take all match for the league title which was the Warriors only loss of the season. This will be a grudge match for both sides who also compete for the Southeast Cup and look to advance to the final on Saturday, November 16.