HILLSBORO — Corvallis High was just under four minutes away from its first boys soccer state title since 2009.
The Spartans led 1-0 but Woodburn, the reigning champion, wasn’t about to go down without a fight.
And with 3 minutes, 36 seconds left, the Bulldogs got the equalizer.
A quick goal in the first overtime gave the Bulldogs the lead and backup keeper Jose Ochoa made several sensational saves in the closing minutes to secure a 2-1 victory and a second straight OSAA 5A title at Hillsboro Stadium on Saturday.
“We knew that Woodburn was going to be playing pretty direct the entire game and that’s what they did and their approach finally worked,” CHS coach Chad Foley said.
Down 1-0, Woodburn (15-2-2) finally solved the Spartans (15-2-1) and keeper Roman Gabriel.
Trevor Karsseboom chipped in a pass from Raul Prudencio from 10 yards out and all of a sudden the Spartans found themselves tied and stunned.
While they survived the last three-plus minutes of regulation, it took the Bulldogs just 42 seconds in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods to take the lead.
Salvador Perez tapped in a cross from Jesus Rodriguez and the Spartans were down and on their heels.
“It rattled us a little bit, and that’s why you saw a quick goal in overtime is that they were still a little bit rattled,” Foley said.
“But all the credit in the world to Woodburn. They believed all the way through and that’s why they are where they are.”
While the Spartans appeared frustrated, they still had what turned out to be numerous opportunities for the equalizer.
Still down 2-1 in the second OT period, Karsseboom received his second yellow card and was ejected, forcing Woodburn to play a man down the final 6:40.
A few seconds later, starting keeper Isaac Pureco was injured and had to be helped off the field.
The Bulldogs had nothing to worry about.
First Max Brune fired a shot that tested Ochoa with 4:25 left.
With 1:32 left, Edgar Monroy fired a shot that Ochoa made a diving stop on.
Then David Nazarrio-Avalos sent a corner kick near the frame and Ochoa punched it way.
Ochoa made another save in the final 30 seconds to seal the Bulldogs’ second straight title and the fifth since 2010. That year, the Bulldogs defeated Corvallis 2-1 in overtime for the title.
Ochoa, a junior was in tears as he finished the handshake line.
“It was incredible,” Foley said of Ochoa’s play. “… He saved that game for them, absolutely without a doubt. He should be proud of that.”
Added Brune: "Credit to the keeper, he was fantastic coming on the last few minutes and not having warmups or anything. … But it really hurts, it stings a lot to have so many chances. You get so close but so far away.”
The Spartans grabbed the lead just 7:38 into the contest when Monroy tapped in a loose ball after a shot by Nick Scoville for the early advantage.
“It definitely put their team on the wrong foot,” said CHS senior Nick Hentzel. “You could see guys not working as hard and not getting the balls they should have.
“It really helped us but at the same time we were too comfortable with that one goal, far too comfortable.”
The Spartans had several quality chances to go up 2-0, but could never finish.
“It would have been huge, especially in a game like this,” Foley said. “If you get a two-goal lead, a lot of times that is all you need. But it didn’t happen for us and again credit to Woodburn.”
It was a tough ending to a good season, one that saw the Spartans hand Woodburn a 5-1 setback during the Mid-Willamette Conference.
“I mean give them all the credit in the world because they came out and wanted it,” Hentzel said. “It is a little bit frustrating but it is what it is.”