La Salle’s Quentin Strange (22) drives around opponents in the OSAA 5A state soccer championship. (Ken Niezgoda/Catholic Sentinel)
La Salle’s Quentin Strange (22) drives around opponents in the OSAA 5A state soccer championship. (Ken Niezgoda/Catholic Sentinel)

UPDATE WITH NAME CORRECTION: Nov. 22, 10:05 AM

HILLSBORO — La Salle High School dominated the field, literally, during the Oregon 5A state soccer championships Nov. 13 at Hillsboro Stadium. Both the Falcons’ boys and girls teams qualified for their respective championship games, with the boys winning the state title 5-0 over Corvallis and the girls taking runner-up honors in a 4-2 loss to top-ranked Wilsonville.

La Salle boys won their seventh state title and second under coach Monty Hawkins. Hawkins returned this year after 26 years away to coach the Falcons. He coached the team to its first state title in 1994. This was the boys’ second consecutive state title, as they also won in 2019. The 2020 title game was not held due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As long as we were committed to one another, and stayed humble, and kept working, this day was inevitable,” Hawkins said following the game.

The boys cruised through their season, losing only to ranked 6A Forest Grove mid-season. The Falcons entered the title game as the number one team in the 5A rankings.

La Salle senior Mizael Harris converted three penalty kicks in the title game, finishing his season with 24 goals and 21 assists. Sophomore Kevin Serrano-Maldonado added two second-half for the 5A champion.

The girls team battled Wilsonville to a 2-2 tie at half on the strength of two goals from junior midfielder Emelia Warta. Top-ranked Wilsonville proved too strong in the second half for the second-ranked Falcons, however.

Warta said the team left the field with no regrets.

“At the beginning of the year we weren’t ranked at all. People didn’t think very highly of us,” said Warta following the game. “We just worked super hard in practices. We were super determined. Everyone just wanted to make it to this final game, and that’s what we did.”

Warta said the turning point for the Falcons was a mid-season stretch of no wins.

“That really just helped motivate us, inspire us, to keep pushing the rest of the way through the season,” said the junior. “We decided if we want to be the best, we have to win every single game, put in the effort every single time we step on that field.”

Warta was named La Salle player of the game.