WARRENTON - Before the game, Astoria boys soccer coach Jerry Boisvert called La Salle "the best team we'll face all year."
As it turned out, La Salle could be the best team anybody faces in 2003.
The fifth-ranked Falcons looked flawless in every aspect of the game Thursday afternoon at the Warrenton Soccer Complex as they scored four first-half goals on their way to a 5-0 win over the Fishermen.
La Salle's Grant Henarie scored three goals, all in the first half, to lead the Falcons to the win.
Astoria was missing a few players - including Jose Cruz, Adam Murray and Angelo Schauermann - but it probably wouldn't have mattered against the physically stronger La Salle team.
"I was thrilled that we were able to play such a high-caliber team," Boisvert said. "Actually, it was good to see such an aggressive team. We knew they were a phenomenal team.
La Salle's Andy Schroeder, left, and Eric Thammavong (No. 11) close in on Astoria's Jaime Rebuella in second-half action at the Warrenton Soccer Complex Thursday.
LORI ASSA-The Daily Astorian"I just wish we had given them more of a game in the first half," he said. "But we learned some hard lessons, and it was good for the young kids to see varsity soccer for the first time. We had about eight kids out there who were playing varsity for the first time, and they had a chance to see what it's all about against a very good team."
It took only a minute for La Salle to score the game's first goal, as Henarie took a crossing pass from David Fonken and scored easily in front of the net.
Henarie scored again in the ninth minute, Pat Bullock found the net in the 20th minute, and Henarie capped the first half scoring with a penalty kick, after he was fouled in the penalty box.
Keeper Henry Brause was Astoria's highlight in the second half, as the junior goalie made several big saves to hold the Falcons scoreless for the first 30 minutes, before allowing a goal by Tyler Meskers in the 31st minute.
La Salle had 15 shots on goal in the second half (nine saved by Brause), while the Fishermen had just three shots, including a close-range shot by Antonio Alcantar that glanced off the left post.
"In the second half, we got some good production from Ryan (Law), Adam Kauppi and Phil Gaffney, and that's what we needed," Boisvert said. "And Henry had a phenomenal game. He made some great plays. We just let some people run on us, and we never slowed 'em down."
Astoria plays at Valley Catholic Tuesday.
Seaside 6, Valley Catholic 0BEAVERTON - Seaside had to deal with a sweltering heat, but Valley Catholic had to deal with the Gulls Thursday afternoon in a nonleague boys soccer match in Beaverton.
And the Seaside players handled the heat better than the Valiants handled the Gulls, who posted a 6-0, season-opening victory.
Seaside's Nathan Pogue had quite a day, as the Gulls' junior had two assists in the first half and scored three goals in the second.
Chris Dueber put the Gulls on the board early, firing a low shot past the Valiants' keeper off a pass from Pogue. Jesse Hinton added a goal midway through the first half for a 2-0 lead.
Pogue scored on a breakaway early in the second half, and 10 minutes later fielded a pass from Justin Krieger and beat the Valley Catholic keeper for another goal and a 4-0 advantage.
Steven Balzer scored on a shot inside the penalty area off an assist from Brian Dueber with five minutes left, and Pogue capped the scoring with a goal in the closing minutes.
Seaside keeper Jared Cederstrom played "flawlessly" according to Gulls' coach Jon Broderick, whose team is still missing Ben Dueber, who will remain out with a sore knee for another week.
Seaside plays at Catlin Gabel Monday.
Gulls come up with Valiant tieWARRENTON - Given the fact that the Seaside girls soccer team has been outscored by Valley Catholic 13-0 in their last two meetings, Thursday night's 1-1 tie with the Valiants wasn't bad for the Gulls.
In fact, the Gulls should be mighty proud of themselves.
After losing 6-0 to the Valiants last year and 7-0 in 2001, Seaside played right with Valley Catholic in the season opener at the Warrenton Soccer Complex.
And although the Valiants had more shots on goal and time of possession, the tie could be a sign of good things to come for the Gulls.
Seaside coach Dave Rouse was certainly pleased with the results, even if it was even on the scoreboard.
"For the coaches, it's not so much the score as it is 'we played them.' Straight up, we played them hard, and they didn't beat us anywhere on the field," Rouse said.
Valley Catholic scored on a scramble in front of the Seaside net late in the first half, but the Gulls responded when Lauren Yokum took a short pass from Micah Cerelli and scored from close-range in the closing seconds for a 1-1 tie at halftime.
"(Cerelli and Yokum) play very well together, and there is a connection between the two of 'em, there's no question about it," Rouse said.
Valley Catholic had nine shots on goal in the second half to Seaside's three, but Gulls' keeper Julie Nelson made six saves to keep the Valiants scoreless over the final 40 minutes.
"They had more shots on goal than we did, which is not surprising," Rouse said. "I considered only a few of them to be really dangerous. (Nelson) made some big saves toward the end which really helped, and Mel (Owens) is a difference-maker on the back line.
"This team is a lot different from the one we had last year," he added. "It's a lot older, and last year we were real inexperienced. A lot of the girls out here have a year's experience and a year's growth.
"Some of them were very nervous before the game, but as we settled down, we played much better."
Rouse said the speed factor helped the Gulls, as it will throughout the season.
"We have a lot of speed - we had more speed on the field than they did," he said. "We don't have quite as much sophistication, but they're probably all Portland soccer players.
"We're working together and our defense was really good, but we gave up a goal that normally would not have been a goal," Rouse said. "It's nobody's fault, that's just the way it happened. It probably should have been a 0-0 game."
Seaside was missing Amber Lucas from the lineup, forcing a few changes, which included Elizabeth DeLong and Ashley Mersereau playing midfield.
"Elizabeth and Ashley normally don't play there, but they did a great job out there today," Rouse said. "Amber wasn't in there, but she'll give us more strength when she comes back. The midfield isn't the strongest part of our game yet, but it's going to get there and it will get stronger as the season goes along."
Seaside hosts Yamhill-Carlton Monday.
La Salle 8, Astoria 1MILWAUKIE - Astoria trailed just 2-0 to second-ranked La Salle at halftime, but the heat finally caught up with the short-handed Fishermen Thursday afternoon, as the Falcons posted an 8-1 win in the nonleague girls soccer match.
The Fishermen play at R.A. Long Monday.