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The Vikings' Sophia Broberg nets the game-winner in overtime, sending the Vikings to the state quarterfinals.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Jesuit's Lucie Rokos and Forest Grove's Sophia Broberg battle for a ball during the two teams' second round playoff game Tuesday night, Nov. 2, at Jesuit High School.There was a lot of gasping for air, and even more searching for words, but in the end it was all smiles for the Forest Grove girls soccer team in the wake of defeating top-ranked Jesuit 3-2 in overtime in the second round of the OSAA state playoffs Tuesday night, Nov. 2, at Jesuit High School.

That's right, the same Jesuit team that's won the last three contested state titles, the same one that went 26 games without giving up a goal before allowing one to Tualatin earlier this season, and the same one that few gave Forest Grove even an iota of a chance of defeating prior to the game. But while people outside the program thought little of their chances, the girls who took the field Tuesday night believed — and they brought that reality to life.

"I don't think we were intimidated at all," Forest Grove senior Makaila Takahashi said. "My freshman year we played Jesuit in the first round of the playoffs and we went into that game knowing we were going to lose, but we have heart on this team and we wanted to prove everybody wrong. We wanted to play them for most of the season and we were actually excited when we drew them. I knew we could do it, but this is so surreal."

It was very real to Jesuit head coach Steve Fennah however, who despite the defeat gave all credit to the Vikings, who he said simply outplayed his girls on this night.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Jesuit's Audrey Kent and Forest Grove's Kathleen Wyborny chase down a ball during the two teams' second round playoff game Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Jesuit High School."I'm not so worried about how we played, Forest Grove deserved to win," he said. "They wanted it a little bit more, were a little bit sharper to the ball, a little quicker, and we battled hard, but they just had a little more."

Forest Grove drew first blood in the game when senior Lily Everson curled a corner kick in off of the Jesuit goalkeeper's hands in the 31st minute.

The Vikings took that lead to the half and kept it until a noticeably more energetic Crusaders team netted the equalizer when a Forest Grove handball awarded Jesuit a penalty kick in the 51st minute, and Taylor Krueger cashed it in.

Four minutes later Jesuit took their first lead, 2-1, when Hanna Slama corralled a loose ball off of the hands of Vikings goalkeeper Aleena Calvert and put it in the back of the net, bringing the home Crusader faithful to their feet.

Forest Grove fought-off a handful of subsequent Jesuit challenges over the next 20 minutes and appeared headed for a moral victory before a second handball — this one on the Crusaders — offered the Vikes a penalty kick of their own, which Makena Speer netted to tie the game with six minutes remaining in regulation.

Forest Grove's Sophia Broberg — whose moment was still to come — had little doubt that Speer — who wanted the shot – would come through despite the anxiety of the moment.

"She had it under control, was composed and put it away," Broberg said. "That was really nice."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Jesuit's Lucie Rokos and Forest Grove's Joanna Long battle during the two teams' second round playoff game Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Jesuit High School.That goal led to overtime, where with just two minutes remaining in the second of two 10 minute halves Broberg put the Vikings on top for good when she curled a free kick in at the far post from near the left sideline, setting-off a raucous celebration in front of the Jesuit goal.

"I was really shaking before the kick," she said as she searched for words. "I watched a lot of Messi videos before the game and I guess it kind of helped me stay calm."

Calm would not be how one would've described Forest Grove head coach Ignacio Olvera during or after the game. The coach was at a loss for words after talking with his team, saying the approach was really just to have fun against the high-powered Crusaders.

"Nobody believed in us," Olvera said. "I told them yesterday to just have fun. We just wanted to be loose, and now…I have no words."

Jesuit was an uncharacteristically young team this season and due to such was forced to grow on the fly. Krueger — a senior — was one of the Crusader's tasked to lead the team, and while unfamiliar with the role to start the year, she said she grew to appreciate it — which ultimately made this defeat difficult to stomach.

"Every other year I've always had someone older than me, but this year was a little different and I was that older person," she said. "I tried to encourage them and help them be confident, and I think we had that confidence tonight, but sometimes it doesn't work out."

Fennah had nothing but praise for Krueger, the other seniors and the team as a whole for what they accomplished this year despite the loss to Forest Grove. He knows expectations were and are always high for his team, but at the same time understands that those same expectations are a bit unrealistic for even a program with their recent past.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Ava Henkemeyer chases down Jesuit's Hanna Slama during the two teams' second round playoff game Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Jesuit High School."We have some unrealistic expectations at times and that puts a lot of pressure on the kids, but it's a tribute to how hard they work as well," Fennah said. "But every group is different and I'm proud of these kids, and really proud of this small group of seniors who did a super job trying to lead a very young team.

Broberg also scored the game-winner in the Vikings' first round playoff win over West Salem, and afterwards spoke to her excitement for what was then the upcoming game with the top-ranked Crusaders. Now, with this win too behind them, what does she think about their chances going forward?

"We go into every game respecting the other team and play our hardest to show people that we deserve to be there," Broberg said. "Forest Grove hasn't been in the quarterfinals for a while, so this is exciting for us and we're going to continue to give our best."

The Vikings are scheduled to face league foe Sherwood in the quarterfinals this Saturday, Nov. 6, with the time undetermined.


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