Rochester doomed by late goal in loss to Aberdeen


ROCHESTER — It felt like a matter of when, not if.

As the second half of Rochester and Aberdeen’s matchup rolled on, the Bobcats seemed destined to take the lead.

They had, after all, tied the game at one 15 minutes into the second half, and the pressure on the Rochester back line continued to build.

That pressure led to a critical crack in the final moments, as Rochester gave up the game-winning goal with three minutes remaining. The Warriors couldn’t muster an equalizer, and they were left with a bitterly disappointing 2-1 defeat.

“I think we got a little disorganized on our back line,” Ashton said. “Our two center backs got split … It’s frustrating.”

Like their last two games, losses to Centralia and Kelso, Rochester started the game off on the right foot.

The Warriors were putting pressure on the Aberdeen defense, and they took advantage of a mistake in the 8th minute. 

The Aberdeen goalkeeper misplayed and juggled the ball in the box. Christian Acahua pounced on the loose ball, and he promptly placed it in the back of the net to score his first goal of the season.

“He didn’t give up,” Ashton said. “That’s the important part. He was able to take it and get the goal. It’s good for him.”

The Bobcats began to ramp up the pressure late in the first half, but their only true chance rang off the post, and Rochester held the lead at the break.

It was the second half where Aberdeen really began to take momentum, dominating possession and advancing the ball deep into the Rochester half several times in the half’s first 10 minutes.

The equalizer came in the 56th minute, and the winner came 21 minutes later. In between Aberdeen goals, the Warriors never generated a true scoring chance, and they rarely possessed the ball deep into the offensive half.

“I think Aberdeen just came out stronger than us in the second half, and it showed,” Ashton said. “I wish it went the other way.”

It’s the second-straight game that the Warriors (5-8, 4-5 2A EvCo) have let a second-half lead slip away. In their matchup at Kelso, they led 2-0 with 15 minutes to play, but lost 3-2.

The loss puts Rochester out of the top four in the EvCo standings. A win would have left them tied with Centralia for third and just one game back of second.

With three league games left in the regular season, Ashton’s message to the team emphasized that the Warriors are still very much alive in the hunt for a postseason berth. But after four losses in their last five league games, the margin for error is now razor-thin.

“Every game is a must-win for us,” Ashton said. “We can’t say that our season is over yet, because it’s not … We have to finish strong.”

Rochester’s first chance to bounce back will come on Tuesday at Shelton.