SEASIDE — Over the last three years, the boys of Seaside High School have won four state championships in three different sports.
Two in golf, and one each in cross-country and basketball. Over the next month, the City of Champions is hoping to add two more sports to that impressive list.
While the “football” Gulls open the state playoffs Friday, the “fütbol” Gulls began their state title run Wednesday night at Broadway Field, where Seaside defeated Philomath 4-1 in a first round game of the 4A boys soccer state playoffs.
The Gulls advance to the quarterfinals, where they will host Newport Saturday, time to be announced.
While the Seaside football team will be a factor in the 4A championship chase, the No. 1-ranked Gulls’ soccer team is intent on hoisting the first ever ‘Boys Soccer State Champions’ banner in the school gymnasium.
Seaside has won 10 in a row — which includes a string of seven straight shutouts — and the Gulls used their bye in the regional play-in round last week by beating Hillsboro (the No. 3-ranked 5A team), 4-1.
These Gulls are officially “state championship ready.”
“We have a good amount of confidence right now,” said Seaside senior Colton Carter, the two-time Cowapa League Player of the Year. “We’re not cocky. We haven’t had many opportunities to go deep into the playoffs, so we’re taking every chance we get, and going as hard as we can.
“We leave it all on the field,” he said. “We might not be the most talented out there, but we’re going to win the ball, and work as hard as we can.”
The Gulls also don’t find themselves trailing very often, let alone giving up goals.
But that’s where Seaside found itself just over 10 minutes into the contest, as a foul on the Gulls in the penalty box gave Philomath a penalty kick, which Antoine Feld converted for the game’s first goal.
Still, with almost 70 minutes of soccer to play, there were no worries on the Seaside side.
“From the angle I saw, I didn’t think a PK was a justified call,” said Gulls’ coach John Chapman. “But it wasn’t something that concerned me. Right from the get-go, 10 or 15 minutes into the game, I saw that we were already starting to wear them down. They started subbing early, and I thought our pressure and pace wasn’t going to allow them much room to move the ball.”
And it took the Gulls just over six minutes to respond.
Moments after a corner kick from Bryce DeWinter, Seaside freshman Westin Carter hammered a ball from 20 yards out on the left side to the far post, and the rocket shot went through the hands of Philomath keeper Jayson Kildea.
“After the penalty kick, we were able to retaliate early, and we still had the whole second half,” said Colton Carter, Westin’s big brother. “We all knew as soon as the penalty kick happened, we were going to come back. We weren’t worried. We just kept playing our game.”
With that, the score remained 1-1 through one half, as the surprising No. 16 seed Warriors were at least even on the scoreboard with the No. 1 seed Seagulls.
But the Gulls are indeed “Relentless,” like their team motto states.
Colton Carter scored the go-ahead goal just over three minutes into the second half, a close range goal off a pass centered by freshman Dodger Holmstedt.
Seaside did not score again for the next 20-plus minutes, but the Gulls dominated in every phase of the game.
The Gulls finished the second half with 17 shots taken, 11 on frame.
And the Warriors couldn’t keep up.
Holmstedt scored off a corner kick from DeWinter with 12:42 remaining; and Colton Carter found the net off a free kick with 9:34 left, another blast that went right through Kildea’s hands.
The Gulls were taking target practice over the final 30 minutes of the game, with near misses by Holmstedt, Westin Carter, Irving Contreras and Uly Corona. Kildea made saves on hard shots by Colton Carter, Chase Januik and Christian Hernandez.
Chapman likes his team’s aggressive attack on offense, but it’s the defense that may earn the Gulls a trophy.
“In the last 10 games, no one has scored on us in open-field play (Hillsboro scored on a free kick),” he said. “Our defense and our goalkeeping has just been solid.”
James Petite and Ashton Boyd shared the goalkeeping duties Wednesday, with Petite starting. The junior only had to make one save. The Warriors had just one shot the entire second half.
“Our midfield dominated the game tonight,” Chapman said. “Our guys kept the pressure on. We spread the ball, and moved it around … I actually had to count a couple times, because it looked like we had 12 guys on the field.”
Colton Carter added, “Irving Contreras and the defenders are just holding the back line. He doesn’t get enough recognition. He’s everywhere. Rafi (Sibony) and I and the mid’s are playing well, and then our wings and other players are just stepping up to another level.”