ILWACO — In a battle of first-year soccer programs, the Fishermen got their first win ever, scoring five second-half goals in a 6-2 win over the Raymond-South Bend Riptide. Ilwaco scored six straight goals after falling behind 1-0.

The Riptide, whose only win came by a 5-4 margin in the teams’ earlier meeting in March, controlled the game early and went ahead 1-0 on Oswaldo Garcia’s eighth-minute goal.

Ethan Personius answered midway through the half, outrunning the defense to gather a long pass from John Glenn and tying the game at one.

“I knew he was faster than them, and if I just got it down there he would get it,” Glenn said.

Ilwaco kept the momentum, getting another breakaway opportunity for Personius right away. But some tough stops by the Riptide goalkeeper kept it tied through halftime.

The Fishermen completely dominated the second half, scoring five straight goals to take a 6-1 lead. More and more, Ilwaco was beating Raymond down the field.

“Our conditioning was key,” Brandon Duke said. “We put in a lot of time in the weight room working out. They might be equal to us as soccer players, but it doesn’t matter. We were running to the ball and made plays on the ball.”

Excitement built for the players as it became apparent that Ilwaco would notch its first win.

“Going into the season we had high hopes, but we were realistic as a first-year team, playing up in a 1A league,” Personius said. “Raymond and South Bend are the only teams from our (Pacific) league, and they’re a combined team. But we knew coming in it would be a good up-and-down game. We came back (from down 4-1) in the last game, and we knew if we played like that the whole game, we’d win.”

Duke scored about six minutes into the second half after dribbling deep into the box on a sideline pass, putting Ilwaco up 2-1. Glenn added a penalty kick high off the goalie’s hand from about 70 feet out.

“I knew they had a short goalie, and if I got it high, it had a good chance to go in,” Glenn said.

The game quickly turned into a blowout. Duke rebounded a Jaden Turner shot and scored his second goal, giving Ilwaco three goals in a seven-minute span to make it 4-1. Personius had another breakaway goal negated by an off-sides call, but the Fishermen continued to outrun their opponent. Turner scored moments later to make it 5-1 in the 58th minute, and added a second goal with 14 minutes left to make it 6-1. Jairo Jimenez’s goal for Raymond with seven minutes left capped the scoring.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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