ONTARIO — The Ontario boys soccer team continued moving in the right direction in 2019, with one of the program’s best seasons in history. The Tigers won the Greater Oregon League title for the second year in a row, won a state tournament (non-play-in) game for the first time since 2012.

The Tigers fell in the quarterfinals to Woodbury, who went on to win the state championship (their fourth in a row).

With the season over, multiple Ontario players are coming home with league honors.

Ontario’s ace striker Greg Rodriguez, who led Ontario in goals scored this year, was named the Greater Oregon League’s co-Most Valuable Player. The focal point of the Ontario offense, Rodriguez was often the victim of double and triple teams on defense against GOL opponents, opening the door for teammates like Greg Salas and Julian Ramirez to get more open looks.

The other co-MVP was McLoughlin’s Francisco Flores. Rodriguez was also named to the all-GOL first team.

Leading the Tigers to back-to-back GOL Championships, Ontario coach Jaime Gonzalez was named the league Coach of the Year.

Eric Lopez, the Tigers’ leader in the midfield, was named to the all-GOL first team. Junior Mireles, one of the anchors of Ontario’s midfield, was also named to the first team. Zeke Parker, Ontario’s lengthy defender, was also on the first team.

Marc Salas, Javier Chavez and Adrian Nunez were all second team selections.

Girls soccer

In Javier Gonzalez’s first season at the helm of Ontario girls soccer, the Tigers finished second in the GOL with a 5-7 record and qualified for the state tournament without the need for a play-in game for the first time since 2011.

Seniors Briona Romayor and Deisy Montoya, the Tigers’ leaders on offense and their lead goal scorers, were both named to the all-league first team.

Iris Meza, Tiffany Nelson, Boston Garcia and Ashley Cano were all named to the second team.

Yessenia Rodriguez, Anita Micelles and Mary Gallindo were all honorable mentions.

The GOL Player of the Year was La Grande’s Katie Perry while the Coach of the Year was La Grande’s Sam Brown.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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