Summit secures its first title with a 2-0 win over Hood River Valley

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By: Grant Lucas
The Bulletin

HILLSBORO — Ron Kidder joined his team in a single-file line, facing away from the field and toward the crowd at Hillsboro Stadium. The ninth-year Summit coach took a deep breath, and he shook his head.

This was three years in the making. On Saturday, after two years of falling short, the Storm could do as senior C.J. Fritz instructed:

“Put the No. 1 in the air, boys!”

With Alex Bowlin logging a goal five minutes after assisting on Alec Fefferman’s 34th-minute score, Summit held off late pressure to defeat Hood River Valley 2-0 in the Class 5A boys soccer state championship final. It was the Storm’s first state title in program history.

It was also the first outright crown ever by a Central Oregon boys soccer team.

“It’s pretty surreal right now,” said Kidder, who minutes earlier received a Gatorade bath from his players and rushed the field to join a dog pile with his team. “You go into every season hoping you’ll get to this level, but it is so hard. You look at all the soccer teams that have come out of Central Oregon, there’s very few that have made it to this game or won the championship.”

Only five other times had a Central Oregon program advanced to a boys soccer state final. And only Mountain View had ever won a piece of the title, sharing the then-4A crown when the Cougars played Jesuit to a scoreless tie in the 1999 state championship match.

“It’s just a hard thing to do,” Kidder continued. “We realize that. We respect that. To finally get it done is just so rewarding. I’m so happy for these guys. It’s a very exciting day and it’s such a relief to have that one under our belt.”

A relief, indeed. Each of the last two years, the Storm were dispatched in the state semifinals. On Saturday they, along with the Eagles of Hood River Valley, were playing in their first state final. And with goalkeeper Levi Davidson recording four saves and the defense pitching its sixth straight shutout — against a fourth-seeded Hood River Valley team (16-2-1) that led all of Class 5A in goal-scoring heading into Saturday’s matchup, no less — Summit secured the elusive state title.

“That’s something you cherish forever,” said Bowlin, who admittedly was at a loss for words. “This team has been amazing.”

In the 34th minute, Bowlin played a ball from the top of the box to the right side, where Fefferman collected the pass and delivered a strike to the left side of the goal, giving the second-seeded Storm (16-1-2) a lead they would not relinquish.

“I actually didn’t even think it was real,” said Fefferman, a senior forward. “When I put it in, and it rolled in, I thought for sure the ref was going to call me for offsides or call a foul or something. I was really afraid about that for a minute. But when it all became real … it was unbelievable.”

Five minutes later, Bowlin received a pass from Fritz and sent a shot into the upper left corner to give Summit a 2-0 lead at the half.

Four of the Storm’s five shots on goal came in the first half. But it was the defense that received praise from players and coaches.

“The guys in back, they killed it in the entire playoffs,” Bowlin said. “Zero goals through four games is unreal. Against these teams, this team (the Eagles) scored seven goals in their first playoff game. We were coming into that knowing we were a good defense, but it was just a matter of who could win, I guess. And our D was just better than every team.”

There was no describing the emotions and thoughts of Summit’s players. There was no need. Because finally, after two straight years of knocking on the door, the Storm busted it down.

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