Beaverton girls are on to final with 2-0 win over Forest Grove
Soccer is a game of somewhat limited opportunities, so when you get them you have to take advantage. Beaverton did that in their state semifinal against Forest Grove, and as a result will face Grant in the state championship game this Saturday.
The Beavers got goals from Lauren Ashe and Macy Deckert en route to a 2-0 victory over the Vikings Tuesday night, Nov. 9, at Beaverton High School, the first of which came from a free kick resulting from a questionable call just outside the 18-yard box. But while the foul could be debated, the ensuing shot could not, and that's a credit to a team that Beaverton head coach Jennifer Kirwan said has been laser-focused on the field all season.
"The girls did a fantastic job and from start to finish definitely took ownership of every decision and opportunity before them," the coach said. "Each girl knows they have an individual role to play and have been very committed to the goals that we set for ourselves."
Ashe's goal came in the 32nd minute and despite the circumstances leading up to the kick itself, was executed perfectly by the senior who placed the roughly 25-yard free kick into the lower left portion of the net. Forest Grove head coach Ignacio Olvera applauded the shot, but also cited his team's misplaced wall, along with fatigue as reasons for the goal and ultimately the game's result.
The Vikings played overtime games in each of their previous two playoff contests, including Nov. 6 versus Sherwood. An emotional Olvera said he saw the effects of such in this game, but also spoke to missed opportunities as the difference between his team moving on, and in this case going home after what's been an incredible Vikings 2021 season.
"Playing two overtimes is going to catch up to you," Olvera said. "My key offensive players had no legs and I knew it was going to be tough, but I thought we played pretty well, we just didn't put our opportunities in the net."
The bulk of those opportunities came late. After Deckert's goal put the Beavers ahead 2-0 eight minutes into the second half, Forest Grove had a good look in the box sail right in the 55th minute, another go high and left from close-in five minutes later, and when standout junior Sophia Broberg's breakaway missed right in the 67th minute it was apparent it wasn't going to be for a Vikings team who's outstanding run had come to an end â€“ unfortunately.
"It's too bad because I still think we hadn't quite reached our full potential yet this year," Forest Grove senior Makaila Takahashi said. "I think we played with a lot of heart and gave it our all, so I'm proud of what this team has done."
Fellow Vikings senior Lily Everson echoed much of what her teammate had to say, but also spoke to the appreciation she has for the camaraderie of this group.
"We've never had a year like this here," Everson said. "I don't think we've ever been this close and had this kind of chemistry, and we put the work in and got to this point. It's just been a lot of fun."
Kirwan was also very complimentary of the Vikings and their coaching staff.
"I've got to hand it to Forest Grove, they played an incredible match," the Beaverton coach said. "They're an incredible team and they're coached very well. They did a fantastic job tonight."
Olvera agreed. And while sad to see it end, he's excited about what this season's success can do for his team going forward.
"This is going to help for sure," he said. "Having these types of games under your belt is going to help us get better, and make you want it more. These girls are all so coachable and I'm just proud of them all."
Meanwhile, Beaverton isn't done. The Beavers have one last game to reach their ultimate goal of a state championship, and Kirwan believes they're ready.
Despite a late-season swoon â€“ a tie and consecutive losses in a three game stretch â€“ that cost them the Metro League title, the Beaverton coach believes they're better for it and in the end will prevail in part because of it.
"I think a lot of times the road to where you want to go isn't always going to be straight," Kirwan said. "That's where you learn, you grow, and you become emotionally resilient. These girls deserve every opportunity and this is a team that will make history at our school."
Beaverton's state title game against Grant is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Hillsboro Stadium.
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