With five of six upcoming games on the road, the Seaside boys soccer team got off to a rough start Tuesday night in Portland.
Oregon Episcopal, the No. 1-ranked team at the 3A level, scored a 6-0 win over the previously undefeated Gulls, now 3-1.
Seaside plays nonleague games at St. Helens on Thursday and at home vs. Catlin Gabel on Tuesday before playing three straight road games to start the Cowapa League season (at Astoria, at Valley Catholic and at Tillamook).
“OES has always been a powerful soccer force, ever since the creation of the special districts,” said Seaside coach John Chapman. “I would like to say we had an off night, but to be honest, they are a very good team. There is no question why they are ranked No. 1.”
Seaside found itself down early when an open ball found the net.
The Gulls slowly settled into the game and started to add some offensive attacks, but “the OES speed and ball movement was near perfect on the night,” Chapman said, and the Aardvarks added two more goals before halftime.
Seaside “battled as warriors more than soccer players in the second half,” he added, but “the skill set from OES was just too much for the Gulls.”
Late in the second half, with multiple substitutions from the Aardvarks wearing the Gulls down, OES found the net three more times.
“We play these teams because we want to be challenged,” Chapman said. “Most of the private Portland schools recruit club players and play nothing but soccer year-round. The score never feels good when you’re on the wrong side, but these types of games prepare and build you for the league season and potential playoffs, where that level of skill does nothing but get better.”
He added, “We have some pride wounds to heal from the game, but the boys will be stronger from it. If you asked me how to describe OES … Wow, just wow. You’ll see them deep in the playoffs again, and you’ll see Seaside rebound and win its own share of games.”
The Gulls finish the regular season by playing four of five games at home.