Ridgefield boys soccer celebrate comeback win over Hockinson


A barnburner soccer match between the Ridgefield Spudders and Hockinson Hawks on Thursday, March 21 proved the 2A Greater St. Helens League is as tough as ever this season.

The Spudders pulled a 4-3 comeback victory over the Hawks.

Hockinson pulled out to an early and quick 2-0 lead with junior forward Alonzo Flores scoring both goals. The Hawks’ celebration after the first goal drew the ire of the Ridgefield home crowd with fans voicing their displeasure from the stands. The Hawks left the game ball behind the field following a bowling pin celebration, which annoyed the Spudder crowd.

That celebration, however, appeared to ignite a fire beneath the Spudders as they protected home turf in a come-from-behind fashion to win in overtime.

Hockinson head coach Tony Ayala said the loss was a tough one after the Hawks swept the Spudders in two games last season.

“We’re definitely disappointed, and we thought we were the better team. At moments, we felt we should have put this thing away,” Ayala said of the road loss. “Obviously, we came up short in [the] golden goal there, but, you know, we have to do better, you know, [with a] 2-0 lead at halftime. We had some chances there, we had a [penalty kick] opportunity that we missed. We have to bury those and put the game away.”

The Spudders’ win gave them redemption after last season and advanced their overall and conference standings to 4-1. Ridgefield’s Joey Taylor scored two key goals after Asher Adams scored in the 51st minute to put the Spudders on the board. Grant Platta forced an own goal for Hockinson to give the Spudders the overtime win.

“It’s a great feeling. We lost both times to them last season … and just to come back and take our home back, it’s just unreal,” Ridgefield midfielder Joey Taylor said after the win.

Despite the big win at home, the Spudders have higher aspirations than a regular season win, Adams said. He added the team felt a little disrespected after the bowling-pin celebration and after a different celebration last season.

“Like whatever, but hey, we stay classy, and we just play our game, and we knew we could get back into it. That’s the type of team we are,” Adams said.

Ridgefield’s head coach Brian Newman believes his team made a huge turnaround with its positive record and a key win early in the season.

“We’ve focused on finding our identity and building the culture that we lost since COVID, and we’ve been working on believing and talking about who we are, how we play, how we know each other,” Newman said. “Those pieces are starting to come together, as you can see. They really did believe that they could finish this …”

The Spudders continued their five game winning streak with a 2-1 win against the Mark Morris Monarchs on Saturday, March 23. They also played Fort Vancouver High School on Tuesday, March 26, but results were unavailable at press time. They next travel to play the Columbia River Rapids at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28.

The Hawks played R.A. Long High School of Longview on Saturday, March 23, resulting in a 2-1 win. They also played Hudson’s Bay High School on Tuesday, March 26, but results were unavailable at press time. They travel to Washougal High School for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday, March 28