The tide will turn the other way, eventually, in the Seaside vs. Astoria boys soccer rivalry. But not yet.
For now, the Gulls still own the matchup, as they showed Thursday night at CMH Field.
Stephen Snyder’s goal midway through the first half was the only score in Seaside’s 1-0 win over the Fishermen. The first Clatsop Clash of the season also served as the Cowapa League opener for both teams.
With the exception of a 2-2 tie in 2017, the Gulls have now won eight of the last nine games with Astoria. That was after the Fishermen had won seven of eight, with the exception of a 1-1 tie in 2012.
Thursday night’s game, however, was not just a routine win for Seaside, which came in as a heavy favorite.
The Gulls had played evenly with the No. 1-ranked team at the 3A level, Catlin Gabel, just two nights earlier — and Seaside certainly had the upper hand Thursday in possession time, shots and goal and every other statistic, but Astoria coach Lee Cain can live with a 1-0 loss to Seaside.
“I was pretty happy with the way the boys played tonight,” Cain said. “Seaside is good, and we could’ve done much worse. We had a plan and they executed it very well.”
Astoria’s back line “was really solid,” he said, “with the one exception of one good ball that allowed (the Gulls) through. But we never let up or lost hope, and a scoreless second half was the result.”
Seaside’s defense pitched soccer’s version of a perfect game, not allowing a single shot on goal. The Fishermen crossed midfield just five times in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Seaside offense controlled the action from start to finish.
The Gulls’ first three shots on goal were stopped by Astoria goalkeeper Dylan Altheide-Nielson, who had an amazing night in goal (“Dylan had a great game, with 16 saves on our stat sheet,” Cain said).
In the 20th minute of the first half, Snyder chased down a long pass down the right side of the field from Westin Carter, and pushed a shot past Altheide-Nielson for what turned out to be the game’s only goal.
“Kudos to the defense for switching the ball back across the field, which led to the attack,” said Seaside coach John Chapman.
The Gulls had eight shots on goal in the first half, with Altheide-Nielson making four saves.
An attempt in the 26th minute by Dodger Holmstedt banged off the crossbar, and a header by Snyder off a corner kick from Holmstedt went over the net.
Seaside had four corner kick opportunites in the first half and eight more in the second, when they had seven shots on goal, another by Julio Ortiz that deflected off the crossbar, while Altheide-Nielson made a diving save off a hard shot by Carter in the 69th minute.
The Gulls were doing all they could to find a second goal, right up to the final minute.
The Fishermen were still missing injured junior defender Yahir Garcia Rojas, but Astoria’s midfield “didn’t lose control, and our forwards played some strong defense in their part of the field,” Cain said. “I think Seaside was frustrated, if not worried. I’m looking forward to our away game with seaside in October.”