The La Grande Tigers reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals, and vanquished a foe that has had their number in the process.
Devin Ingram scored two second-half goals, Westin Blake added a goal in the early stages of the match, and the LHS boys soccer team stopped North Marion, 3-0, in a first-round playoff match Wednesday night at Canby High School.
“The boys did awesome,” head coach Sid Rangel said. “They played with heart….The most important thing is that they had the will and the desire to take their team one step further into the (playoffs). North Marion is a team that is always fast on the ball and very aggressive. Their speed can be lethal, but we played one of our best games in a really long time.”
The victory gave La Grande its first quarterfinal berth since the 2016 season. It also stopped a string of victories by North Marion over La Grande on the pitch. The Huskies had eliminated La Grande from the playoffs in three of the past five seasons.
Blake scored what proved to be the winner less than 10 minutes into the match for the early lead. The Tigers’ advantage stayed 1-0 through the first half before Ingram tallied his two goals to help put the contest away.
“We wanted (this win) and we actually were prepared mentally,” Rangel said. “It was the mental preparedness that got us through.”
Jacob Huntsman recorded a shutout in net for the Tigers.
La Grande (9-4-1 overall) heads back to the west side of the state for a quarterfinal matchup against Marist Saturday. The Spartans topped Baker in the first round of the playoffs, 2-0.