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Eastmont eases past Mt. Spokane in State 3A soccer

WENATCHEE – Mt. Spokane’s fairy-tale run in the State 3A boys soccer tournament came to a close Saturday afternoon after running into a buzz saw-like Eastmont team.

Eastmont dominated the quarterfinal match for an impressive 8-0 victory at the Apple Bowl, ousting Mt. Spokane from the postseason for the second year in a row to set up a semifinal date with Mercer Island at 3 p.m. Friday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

“They’re a great team,” Mt. Spokane Wildcats coach Ryan Campanella said of Eastmont. “I would expect that team to do really well in the Final Four.”

Mt. Spokane (12-6), which was knocked out of the 2011 regional tournament in a 3-2 loss to Eastmont, couldn’t contain Eastmont’s vaunted offense just three days after avenging an earlier loss by defeating Kennewick in a shootout in the first round.

“At the end of the day I’m absolutely proud of my boys,” Campanella said. “For Mt. Spokane soccer, this was history for us to make the Elite Eight. No one in the GSL would have believed Mt. Spokane would make the Elite Eight.”

Eastmont (18-2) sent 19 shots at Mt. Spokane goalkeeper Robert Powles, but the sophomore was able to keep the scoreboard clean until the 23rd minute.

“I’m proud of my sophomore goalie in the toughest game he’s been in,” Campanella said. “He’s been pretty resilient.”

Hernan Mendoza started Eastmont’s offensive onslaught by dribbling around a Mt. Spokane defender on a run, then striking a hard left-foot shot off Powles’ hands.

The lead grew to 2-0 in the 29th minute when Eastmont sweeper Juan Rodriguez seized an opportunity on Mauricio Lopez’s close free kick by streaking in front of the goal and misdirecting the ball backward with a header.

Eastmont poured it on after halftime, with Perez scoring twice, Alex Espinoza posting a natural hat trick off the bench, and Columbiai Basin Big Nine 3A MVP Joel Villa tacking on the final goal.

“It was just consistent execution on the goal-scoring,” Eastmont coach Eric Duffey said. “These scores show the depth of talent on this team. We make subs and the level of play doesn’t drop.”