RANDVIEW - Just 72 hours after carrying sophomore forward Sammy Villa off the field after he scored the winning goal in the first round of the 2A State tourney, Grandview teammates helped him off the field again this past Friday following a collision that resulted in a concussion.
Villa, Grandview's leading scorer, was lost for the rest of the game, and the Greyhounds lost the quarterfinal match 3-1 to visiting Cheney.
Things started promising enough for Grandview with a 14th minute score by Oscar Guerrero off a corner kick.
Back came the Blackhawks with two goals in a seven-minute span that turned the contest around. The first came in the 24th minute when Grandview had three players around the ball but failed to communicate on who was going to take it. That left an opening for Cheney to knock home its first goal to make it a 1-1 contest.
The Blackhawks' second goal came on a penalty kick in the 31st minute, when a Cheney player was taken down in the box. Grandview Coach Anne Holden said both goals could have been prevented. "I wish we had that time back," Holden said after the match as her players consoled each other over the loss.
There was still hope for a Grandview comeback and it looked like the Greyhounds found their equalizer just seconds before the halftime whistle.
Villa, a spindly sophomore with the heart of a lion, threw his body into a loose ball in front of the Cheney net and collided with an opposing player before falling to the ground. His breathing temporarily slowed, Villa was taken to the sideline where a Prosser ambulance crew advised he sit out the remainder of the contest. To make matters worse, an apparent indication of a penalty kick awarded to Grandview was instead deemed to be possession for Cheney.
Down 2-1 and minus Villa, scorer of four goals in the previous two matches, Grandview fought back in the second half. The Greyhounds brought up five forwards to attack the Cheney net and at one time all 11 players-including keeper Teclo Perez-were on the Cheney side of the field in a desperate attempt to knot up the contest.
Though Grandview fired off some shot attempts, the Greyhounds couldn't sustain repeated attacks. In fact, Grandview had to hustle back on the defensive end more than once and Cheney salted away the win with a goal in the 68th minute.
Holden gave credit to Cheney, noting it was the first team this season that matched them in speed at all positions.
Grandview had won four consecutive postseason games at home over the past two weeks. A win over Cheney in Friday's loser-out contest would have advanced the Greyhounds to a State tourney final four berth in Sumner this coming weekend.
Grandview loses seven seniors off this year's team: Victor Garcia, Edi Arambula, Cesar Barriga, Steve Jacobo, Oscar Guerrero, Josue Lopez and Jose Garcia.
This year's quarterfinal berth-elite eight-was the farthest a Grandview boys soccer team had ever advanced in State.
Holden said there's reason to be optimistic about the future, with Villa, Perez and 12 other varsity players returning. The 2008 season, she added, "set the table" for future things to come for the boys soccer program.