Chieftains finish 23-0 to win program’s first WIAA championship
It was a perfect finish for a perfect season.
The perfect Columbia River Chieftains are the Class 2A state boys soccer champions.
Jack Kolosvary scored both goals Saturday night as Columbia River topped Burlington-Edison 2-0 in the title game at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
The victory capped a 23-0 season for Columbia River, a program that had never before made it to the final four.
This first trip was a memory maker.
“It’s the most amazing feeling ever,” said one of the team captains, Reilly Burke. “Freshman, sophomore year, we couldn’t win a district game. Then last year, losing to Highline (in first round of state).
“To come back this year, my senior year, to be with my boys and go undefeated and represent my community, I can’t explain it. I’m just so happy for all these boys. They deserve it.”
Burke talked to ClarkCountyToday.com via phone from the team bus on the way back from Sumner. He said the players wanted to share those last couple hours, rather than going their separate ways for the trip home.
Columbia River coach Filomon Afenegus said he loved coaching this group.
“These guys have been working so hard all year long,” said Afenegus, who became the head coach five years ago. “We’ve been building for this moment for quite some time. To finally get here, it’s amazing.”
The Chieftains had to feel comfortable after Kolosvary’s second goal, in the early going of the second half.
After all, the River defense has been dominating all season. Using two goalkeepers – Reilly Burke in the first half and David Gonzalez-Martinez in the second half – the Chieftains held opponents to nine goals for the season.
For. The. Season.
Only once did a team score two goals in a match against the Chieftains.
So when Kolosvary’s penalty kick gave the Chieftains a 2-0 lead at the 42nd minute, it could have turned into a 38-minute countdown for a championship.
“That’s definitely in my mind,” Burke acknowledged. “Our defense has been so solid all season. … That second goal is like insurance. We had some breathing room. Super nice to have that goal.”
But he and his coach knew there was a lot of time to play.
“I felt more comfortable when we got the two-goal lead,” Afenegus said. “But we’re playing high stakes. The game can change so quickly. They really pressed us. Our boys had to figut their way out of that, and they did. A very physical game. Boys did a good job of keeping their composure.”
Burke said he tried to remind his teammates not to let up, not to think about the trophy until the final whistle.
“We knew we had to finish this game and keep our teammates humble,” Burke said. “I’m so proud of my boys.”