The Sherwood boys defeat Hillsboro for their first victory

by: DAN BROOD - BOWMEN ON THE MOVE -- Sherwood senior Andrew Bukur (left) looks to get the ball up field during the Bowmen's 1-0 win over Hillsboro.SHERWOOD — At last.

After a lot of hard work with no victories to show for it, the Sherwood High School boys soccer team finally notched its first win of the season. Now, the Bowmen are hoping that long-awaited victory is just what they needed in order to propel them to many more wins.

Sherwood, behind a strong, intense defensive effort, notched its initial win by scoring a 1-0 victory over Hillsboro in a non-league match played Saturday at Sherwood High School.

“This is a huge deal for us,” Sherwood junior midfielder Connor Carraher said after the victory. “It’s our first win.”

“This gets us on our way,” Sherwood junior defender Ben Windheim added. “It’s a big deal.”

Hillsboro, from the Class 6A Pacific Conference, moved to 5-4 on the season with the setback. The Bowmen improved to 1-6-1 on the season with the victory.

“We needed a win,” Sherwood coach Monty Hawkins said. “And, of all of the one-goal games we’ve had, this is the one you wouldn’t expect us to get.”

The Bowmen, who had five one-goal setbacks prior to Saturday’s match, came out intense from the start of the contest.

Sherwood senior midfielder Alex Castaneda opened the attack for the Bowmen, taking a hard shot from 15 yards out just over three minutes into the match, with Hillsboro senior goalkeeper Phoenix Baltrus making a diving save on the attempt.

Bowmen senior goalkeeper Brennan Giles was also up to the task in the early going. With 35 minutes and 5 seconds left in the first half, Giles blocked a header attempt by Hillsboro senior Javi Mendez Zepeda. He then made a diving save of a follow-up shot by Spartan senior Tyler Hoiem.

Then, with 29:13 left in the first half, the Bowmen broke through.

Castaneda, after taking a give-and-go cross from senior Zephaniah Hollins from the right corner, scoring on a shot from five yards out, putting the ball in the left side of the Hillsboro goal, to give Sherwood a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans came close to getting the equalizer just a minute and a half later, when a line drive attempt by Hoiem from 30 yards out hit the crossbar of the Bowmen goal.

But, for most of the first half, the Sherwood defense — which included Windheim, sophomore Logan Jones, junior Nolan Ward and Carraher, among others — limited the Spartans’ opportunities, as Hillsboro got just four shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.

“We were solid on defense, and go to the balls in the air,” Windheim said.

Sherwood got a header shot from Beau Curtiss with 14:32 left in the first half, but the Bowmen had to settle for the 1-0 lead at halftime.

Sherwood opened the second half with a free kick shot on goal by Ward, but, for most of the final 40 minutes, the Bowmen found themselves — successfully — fighting off Hillsboro attacks.

With 29:22 left in the contest, Giles made a leaping save of shot by Hillsboro sophomore Tom Hunnicutt. Four minutes later, Giles deflected a shot by Spartan junior Diego Canastuj-Lopez, from 14 yards out, to a corner kick. Jones then headed away the ensuing Hillsboro corner kick.

With 12:07 remaining, Giles stepped up again, diving straight out to his left to deflect a hard-hit shot by Hoiem from 17 yards away.

The Spartans seemed to turn up the intensity even more in the final minutes. But the Bowmen defense was able to handle the pressure. Windheim headed away a corner kick to help end one of Spartans’ final attacks.

The Bowmen, getting a late shot on goal by senior Tyler Thayer, stepped up to close out the 1-0 victory.

“We definitely put in the work and effort,” said Carraher, who had a handful of key defensive plays in the final minutes. “And it went our way. We played lock-down defense and made sure they didn’t get a shot.”

“Soccer may not be democratic, but this was a good win for us,” Hawkins said. “Hillsboro is a strong 6A team.”

Sherwood, which is 0-1 in Northwest Oregon Conference play, will be back in action today (Thursday), when it plays at Parkrose in a conference match starting at 4:30 p.m. On Tuesday, the Bowmen will play at Milwaukie in a 7 p.m. conference tilt.

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