It was certainly a deflating moment for Summit, creating a momentum shift that easily could have left the Storm out of the state championship match.
After leading 1-0 for more than 70 minutes, No. 2 Summit gave up a goal to No. 3 David Douglas with less than one minute left in regulation. But freshman Nathaniel Deperro scored in the first overtime and the Storm hung on to beat the Scots 2-1 in a Class 6A boys soccer state semifinal match on a chilly Tuesday night at Summit High School.
No. 2 Summit (17-1) advances to the 6A state championship game against either Forest Grove or Jesuit on Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.
Emerging from a celebratory mob of teammates and friends on the artificial turf field, the freshman hero was asked about that late goal by the Scots that sent the match into overtime.
“It just made us go harder, so it was pretty cool,” said Deperro, who goes by “Nani.” “It was a long game … but it still worked out. It’s all good.”
With about two minutes left in the first 10-minute period of overtime, Jace Marshall made a long crossing pass to Deperro, who kicked the ball off a bounce and into the back of the net as the David Douglas goalie came out.
“It was pretty lucky,” Deperro said. “I don’t know, I kind of just jumped and hoped for the best, but it turned out good. It was like a volley.”
“We made a defensive error, and left a man open at the back post,” said David Douglas coach Logan Marquardt.
Summit goalkeeper Khael Engelman came up with several saves in the second overtime period, including a shot that rolled behind him but that he scooped up just before the goal line with only 1:30 left, as the Storm hung on for the win and avoided a shootout yet again.
It was the third straight overtime victory for the Storm during their playoff run.
Summit junior forward Kyle Capdevila scored in the sixth minute off a rebound to put the Storm up 1-0. They held that lead through most of regulation time behind solid defense and the play of Engelman, but the Scots (13-3-2) picked up the pressure late in the second half.
Just when it seemed like Summit would avoid yet another overtime, Rigo Mendez blasted a crossing pass to Isaac Rangel Villafuerte, who booted the ball past Engelman and into the net to get the Portlanders even at 1-1.
There was a collective groan from the Summit crowd and jubilation from the small but loud David Douglas contingent.
“Yeah, that was hard,” Capdevila said. “That was just like an emotional roller coaster, I don’t know. … We were high, we thought we were winning and then it all came down. But we knew we had ’em. We knew we’d get a goal in overtime, but yeah, we were a little worried at that point.”
Before the first overtime period, Summit coach Ron Kidder reminded his players that they had survived in overtime in their previous two games, a 4-2 first-round win over Liberty and a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over South Eugene.
“I just told them that it was tied, and we still had life,” Kidder said. “The momentum had definitely shifted. I just reminded them of what the last two games were like and what we got done. I just knew we could do it again. I didn’t think Nani Deperro was necessarily going to be the hero today, but wow, what a huge moment for that freshman … incredible.”
The David Douglas goal was just the seventh allowed by Summit this season, as the Storm defense has been the team’s strength all year. Tuesday night was no different.
“The second half we were outplayed, but we’re just so solid defensively,” Kidder said. “Our defenders had their work cut out for them and they played epic. They came up huge. What a great victory.”
Marquardt said his team was feeling confident after its late goal in regulation.
“We felt like we’d stolen the momentum a little bit and had kind of taken the game back with a minute left,” Marquardt said. “That can be kind of devastating. We came out and pressed hard in that first part of overtime, but once they got that goal our guys dropped their heads a little bit. Summit plays a real organized form of ball. It was a good battle. You get down to this final four, and one little thing can make the difference.”
In its first season in Class 6A after being moved from 5A in the OSAA’s latest reclassification, Summit has just two seniors on its roster, and Kidder was not sure what to expect from his young team. Now the Storm are one win away from a 6A state title.
“It’s a really talented, special group,” Kidder said, “so why not us?”