The Beaverton girls soccer team had been ranked No. 1 for much of the season, prior to a bit of a late-season swoon that saw the Beavers drop consecutive games to Mountainside and Sunset to end the regular season. But the team regrouped and put together three straight playoff victories, including a 4-3 state quarterfinal win over Bend this past Saturday, Nov. 6, at 15th Street Field in Bend.
The Beavers scored in the first minute of extra time against the Lava Bears, then survived 19 additional minutes before the clock struck zero, sending Beaverton to the state semifinals.
"I'm really proud of how mature our team is and that they are one of the most emotionally resilient teams I have ever coached," Beaverton head coach Jennifer Kirwan said. "We weathered the hard challenges of what we could control and what we could not and stayed focused on what we needed to do."
With the win, the Beavers were set to face No. 16 seed Forest Grove on Tuesday, Nov. 9, just after this paper's press deadline.
On paper, Beaverton has the better squad, but the Vikings have been giant-slayers this postseason. After defeating top-ranked Jesuit in the second round last Tuesday, Nov. 2, Forest Grove pipped Sherwood 2-1 in penalty kicks (5-4) Saturday night amid stormy weather at Sherwood High School.
Beaverton and Forest Grove met earlier in the year, and the Beavers prevailed 3-2.
"I'm extremely proud of this exceptional group and ready to get after it in preparation for Forest Grove," Kirwan said.
In their win over Bend, the Beavers got two goals from Meg Unruh, and one goal from Lauren Ashe, along with assists from Hannah Rice, Lauren Ashe and Riley Unruh.
Beaverton goalie Brielle Fernando had five saves.
Sunset became the second Metro League semifinalist when they upset No. 2-seeded Lake Oswego 2-1 in penalty kicks (4-2). The Apollos erased a 1-0 Lakers lead when Malea Cesar tied the game with a penalty kick resulting from a handball in 58th minute. After two overtime periods, Sunset goalkeeper Siera Edwards stopped two Lake Oswego PKs en route to the visitors' upset win, sending the Apollos to a semifinal match with Grant, who defeated Oregon City 1-0, also in penalty kicks.
On the boys side, Jesuit scored four second-half goals en route to a 4-0 win over Lincoln. Drew Pedersen netted three goals in the Crusaders' home win, while Luc Insley started the second-half onslaught with a goal from just outside the penalty area. Next up for the Crusaders: West Linn, who also went to penalty kicks to beat South Eugene in the quarterfinals.
Those semifinal matches were also scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.