United 3, Columbia White Salmon 0
(Winlock,WA) Toledo-Winlock United knew a win would clinch at least a tie for the Trico League Championship with only King’s Way left to catch them with 3 games to play. This would mean United would have to lose all 3 final games while KW would have to win out including Tuesday night against LaCenter.
United took care of their business with an impressive 3-0 win over last year’s League Champion the Bruins and then got some help from the Wildcats of LaCenter who played King’s Way to a 0-0 draw. That combination of outcomes clinches the Championship for United.
In this match the two teams took plenty of time to size each other up and both backlines and keepers had their hands full. Both teams made significant runs but came up empty. United had 2 corner kicks during this run but could not find the scoring combination. United’s Brandon Cruz, Dawson Hall and Brian Wood with keeper Alan Contreras toed the defensive line all night. The same was true for the Bruins led by Brady Trullinger, Rogelio Olivares and keeper Federico Borgonovo.
The stalemate was finally snapped in the 28th minute when United’s Gustavo Barragan took a pass from Andreas Malunat and punched it in to make it 1-0. That is how it would stay to the half.
United wasted little time in knocking home the 2nd score and again it was Barragan this time unassisted. Barragan fired a shot from outside the box and fired high and it flew in just under the crossbar in the 46th minute. Just 6 minutes later defender Brandon Cruz was up in the box on a corner kick when Borgonovo punched out the kick but it rattled around in the box when Cruz got to it first and popped it in for an insurance goal which sealed the win.
The Bruins Brandon Alfaro was the one creating the most opportunities and put tons of pressure on the United defense but he could never get one past Contreras.
United Coach Horst Malunat says they never expected to clinch with 3 matches to play and that he doesn’t intend on letting up. Malunat says if his team was experienced and coming off a State Championship then maybe he’d have a different view but he says this team needs this momentum they have built and will look to keep it moving forward for the next week and a half until the District Tournament.
United is now 9-0 while White Salmon drops to 5-4-1. King’s Way is 6-3-1, LaCenter 5-2-2 and Seton Catholic at 4-5. Our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Players of the Game went to United’s Gustavo Barragan and White Salmon’s Brandon Alfaro. The ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game went to United’s Brandon Cruz.