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BALL CONTROL: La Grande's Collin Eder tries to keep the ball away from Marist's Chris Boyum (front) and Aaron DuChateau. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
BALL CONTROL: La Grande's Collin Eder tries to keep the ball away from Marist's Chris Boyum (front) and Aaron DuChateau. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Two disputed goals one of them allowed, one of them not decided the outcome of Tuesdays boys soccer state semifinal between La Grande and Marist.

Marists first-half goal counted and La Grandes second-half goal did not, and the Spartans went into Saturdays state championship game with a 2-0 victory over the Tigers.

Marist will play Junction City Saturday in the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A/2A/1A State Boys Soccer Championship in Lake Oswego. Junction City beat Philomath 1-0 Tuesday.

Both disputed goals in the La Grande-Marist game involved potential interference with the goalkeeper.

On Marists first goal, 27 minutes into the game, La Grande goalkeeper Dustin Fuchs appeared to have the ball but it slipped away from him and Marists Jason Jackson-Berger tapped it in.

Nine minutes after halftime, La Grandes Johan Soderlunde sent a floating pass from the baseline to the front of the goal. Marists goalkeeper appeared to have the ball, but La Grandes Greg Schuft headed it in.

The referee waved it off, however, calling interference with the goalie.

La Grande coach Jessy Watson confronted the officials after the game but had nothing to say about the officiating later.

Im proud of my guys. They played hard, he said. We had some opportunities and we couldnt finish on them.

Indeed, La Grande (14-3) took several shots in the first half that were either saved or went high or wide. The Tigers played against the wind, however, and had a difficult time moving the ball and keeping it upfield.

With the goals changed in the second half, La Grande had more scoring opportunities. But Marist crowded its defenders near the top of the goal box, and the Tigers had few direct shots on goal.

Marist coach Tom Coffin made a defensive adjustment early in the game that helped the Spartans shut down La Grandes leading scorer, Greg Schuft.

I saw the tremendous speed that he had and the skill that he had, Coffin said.

He moved Ryan Hill from his midfield position to defender and told him to stick to Schuft. Ryan has the fastest speed on our team, Coffin said. Ryan shut down No. 20.

Marists second goal was also by Jackson-Berger. He broke away with a minute to play, dodged past defender Trae Perry and sent his shot past Fuchs to secure the win. The goals were Jackson-Bergers 14th and 15th of the season. Chris Boyum was credited with assists on both plays, his 19th and 20th.

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