COOS BAY — When Marshfield and Cottage Grove met in boys soccer early in the season, the host Lions scored in the final seconds to secure a tie with the Pirates.
Cottage Grove scored again late in their rematch Tuesday at Pete Susick Stadium, but the goal didn’t matter because the Pirates had built a 4-0 lead to that point.
The 4-1 victory capped Marshfield’s regular-season schedule and was a final statement as Marshfield hopes to earn a spot in the Class 4A soccer playoff structure as the second-place team from the Sky-Em League.
Two runners-up will join the six league champions in the quarterfinals next week and Marshfield hopes its 7-1-1 record, the lone loss coming to Marist Catholic by a 2-1 margin, will be good enough for the selection committee to pick the Pirates.
“It gives us a good argument we should be one of the No. 2s,” Marshfield coach Drew Jones said.
The Pirates had been anticipating the rematch with the Lions, and jumped in front almost immediately.
In the fourth minute, Marshfield’s Jose Yanez-Torres attacked from the left side, drawing Cottage Grove’s goalkeeper out of the box. He deflected a shot by Yanez-Torres, but the ball went to waiting Roberto Castillo, who easily put it in the back of the net.
“I was just ready there if the ball was deflected,” Castillo said.
The Pirates stretched the lead to 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Ismael Rodriguez blasted a shot past the goalie from the right side.
The lead gave the Pirates a big boost, Castillo said.
For most of the second half, the Pirates kept that lead with solid team defense, and in the final few minutes Marshfield added the insurance goals.
First, with just over 4 minutes left on the clock, Castillo scored his second goal when he headed in a corner kick by teammate David Flores.
“It was good timing,” Castillo said, adding that Flores made a perfect kick. “I was there and open, ready for it.”
Then in the final two minutes, Rodriguez had another goal when he sprinted up the right side and scored.
Cottage Grove got the late goal, but it did nothing to dampen Marshfield’s excitement about the match.
“I think we played really good,” Castillo said. “When we played over there, we didn’t play real good.”
But on Tuesday, Marshfield’s passing was on the spot and the Pirates routinely beat the Lions to loose balls and were stellar on defense.
“Everyone was motivated,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone was ready to win.”
The Pirates kept their intensity all game, he added.
Jones noted that most of the Pirates played the full 80 minutes.
The early goals provided a big boost.
“All year we’ve been slow starters, today we weren’t,” Jones said. “We got two goals before half. That gave us control.”
Daniel Garcia made several saves and had a lot of help in front of him.
“Ernesto (Hernandez) did a good job at center back,” Jones said, adding that his fellow defenders were solid.
“Defensively, we were really strong. The midfield worked their butts off.”
Marshfield won its fourth straight since the loss to Marist catholic.
“For a young team with a lot of sophomores and juniors, they are coming together at the right time,” Jones said.
Now the Pirates just hope they get a chance to show it in the playoffs.