Sherwood girls advance with a 2-0 first-round state playoff victory over Willamette

DAN BROOD - Sherwood sophomore midfielder Jillian Leroux boots the ball during the Lady Bowmen's playoff win over Willamette. SHERWOOD — It's the playoffs.

And, no matter how much experience they have, or don't have, the Lady Bowmen know what the playoffs are all about.

It's win, or go home. And the Sherwood High School girls soccer team wasn't ready to call it a season.

With that in mind, the Lady Bowmen went out and powered their way to a 2-0 win over Willamette in a Class 6A state playoff first-round match played Saturday at Sherwood High School.

"We knew that we could be playing our last match," Sherwood junior defender Madi Pastores said after the victory. "So we wanted to play the best that we could."

DAN BROOD - Sherwood's Hannah Fillinger-Palotay gets the ball up field during the Lady Bowmen's win over Willamette."We didn't want the season to end for our seniors," Sherwood junior defender Jenna Funk added. "So we wanted to fight as hard as we can."

Willamette, the No. 4 team out of the Southwest Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 6-8-1.

Sherwood, the defending Class 6A state champion and Three Rivers League champ, improved to 10-2-3 on the season with the win. The Lady Bowmen also advanced to host TRL rival Tualatin in a state playoff second-round match on Tuesday.

"That's always a battle," Funk said.

And Sherwood was ready to battle Willamette, a former rival of the Lady Bowmen when both teams played at the Class 5A level, in Saturday's state playoff opener.

Sherwood grabbed a 1-0 lead near the midway point of the first half, when junior Gillian Pedan scored off an assist by junior midfielder Alex Verkamp.

DAN BROOD - Sherwood's Jillian Leroux (left) and Lauren Scarvie (6) celebrate with sophomore Alysia Alvarado following her goal in the win over Willamette.The Lady Bowmen went onto take the 1-0 lead to halftime.

Sherwood kept on the attack in the second half, getting shots on goal from senior Hannah Fillinger-Palotay and sophomore Alycia Alvarado.

Then, with 12 minutes and 53 seconds left to play in the first half, Alvarado battled her way past a pair of Willamette defenders and, from 17 yards away, fired a high, hard shot that deflected off the hands of the Willamette goalkeeper, and into the back of the Wolverine goal, upping the Bowmen lead to 2-0. Sherwood sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Pfisthner then helped preserve the shutout with a couple key plays in the final minutes. With 1:27 left to play, Pfisthner made a kick save of a shot by Willamette junior Lauren Hansen from close range. Then, with just 46 seconds remaining, Pfisthner ran out to grab the ball in front of breaking Willamette sophomore Ally LaVassaur.

DAN BROOD - Sherwood goalies Jadi eBaldwin and Cassidy Pfisthner celebrate following the state playoff win over Willamette.The Lady Bowmen defense, including Funk, Pastores, sophomore Jillian Leroux, junior Abby Eisenbeiss and freshman Morgen Fried, among others, limited Willamette to just one shot on goal in the second half.

"We always have a solid four back there," Pastores said.

"It's all about teamwork in back," Funk said. "We have strong communication back there."

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