PHS soccer loses second game of year against Eagles

Greyhounds take tough loss, bounce back with win in Othello



Clarens Dollin dribbles past a defender in PHS’ second playoff game, May 10.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

Coming in with high confidence and a winning streak, the Pullman High School (17-2, 10-0 GSL) soccer team took a metaphorical punch in the face in a 3-1 loss to West Valley High School in the Greater Spokane League Championship Game Wednesday. 

Despite giving up the first goal, the Eagles of West Valley were unphased, scoring three unanswered to quiet the home Pullman crowd. 

The game started quietly, with neither team having any meaningful attacks in the first 20 minutes of play. However, on a breakaway, Pullman’s Carlens Dollin had just the goalie in front of him. As he shot the ball, Dollin rolled his ankle on the grass and he had to leave the game. 

Clarens Dollin lies in pain after injuring his ankle and having to leave the game, May 10.

Without the offensive star that is Dollin, Pullman still found an opening. In the 24th minute of action, senior captain Evan French lasered a ball into the back of the net, in part thanks to a beautiful setup from Carlens’ brother Clarens Dollin. 

The action became quiet once again after the opening goal, but seemingly right as Carlens returned, West Valley got their first goal in the 33rd minute. 

Entering the end of the first half, the score was evened at 1-1, but Pullman held a 6-2 shot advantage. 

The second half started incredibly quickly for the Eagles, as in the 40th minute, they got past the defense to grab their first lead of the game, a lead they did not give up the rest of the game. To give themselves a cushion, the team scored again in the 69th minute, making the score 3-1, a score that lasted the rest of the way. 

“We should’ve had some better finishes,” Pullman head coach Doug Winchell said. “The physicality of the game got us distracted.”

Throughout the game, tensions were high on all areas of the pitch, as both teams received multiple yellows, as well as both sides of fans received warnings from the referees about conduct. 

As time ticked down and the result became clear, Pullman’s goalie Aaron Oatley threw his gloves down and took a seat to take in the loss. Oatley’s reaction became cut short as Winchell came over to remind the goalie that the game was not about him, but rather the team. 

After the loss, Pullman traveled to Othello High School Friday to take on the Huskies on their home pitch, a match they won 2-1 to continue their playoff push. 

Pullman scored a goal in each half of play, the first coming from Carlens in the 23rd minute, assisted by his brother, and the second coming from freshman Nicholas Neville in the 59th minute, assisted by Carlens. 

The Greyhounds out-saved Othello 9-5, as Oatley had a much better performance coming off the loss. 

With the win, the Greyhounds punched their ticket to the 2A WIAA State Tournament later this month for their second straight appearance.