Beaverton loses epic title game to Grant 4-3
What a game. Unfortunately for Beaverton, they were on the wrong end of an instant classic.
Grant's Elle Frazer's goal at the tail end of a long ball in the sixth minute of extra time proved to be the game-winner in a back-and-forth affair that saw the Generals defeat the Beavers 4-3 in the OSAA Girls Soccer State Championship game Saturday night, Nov. 13, at Hillsboro Stadium
A nearly packed and unquestionably spirited crowd watched as two of the state's best went toe-to-toe for 80 minutes, only to need 10 more to decide a champion.
Beaverton head coach Jennifer Kirwan and her team were ultimately denied what they fought so hard for all season, but despite the defeat Kirwan couldn't have been more proud of her team and what they accomplished this season.
"I'm so proud of them because this was one of the hardest battles we had to fight," the Beaverton coach said. "I think we surprised a lot of people and I think we definitely made a statement for our program, and these girls are exceptional."
Beaverton senior Macy Deckert too was proud of her teammates, and â€“ while clearly disappointed with the outcome â€“ was excited for what she felt they were able to do for the school and soccer program.
"I'm so proud that we were able to make it this far because it's been like 30 years since we've been here," Deckert said. "I'm so proud of the way we came back, especially in this type of environment. We stayed and we fought the entire game."
It didn't look so good for the Beavers early, for the Generals appeared ready to run away with the title game after Grant's Frazer and freshman Kate Ratanaproeksa each scored goals, giving the Generals a 2-0 lead just 12 minutes into the match. But Beaverton pulled within 2-1 when Natalie Drotzmann finished a loose ball in the box following a corner kick in the 17th minute, then tied it 16 minutes later when Lauren Ashe beat Grant goalie Abby Winkler on a free kick from 30 yards into the upper right portion of the net.
After a series of Grant near misses in the second half, including a quality shot off of a corner in regulations final minute, the Generals again took the lead when Katarina Roesinger scored from the far left side just two minutes into the first of two 10-minute extra time periods. But there was no quit in this Beaver team, for they again responded, tying the game 3-3 when Roxanne Rundle scored just a minute later.
Beaverton's goal â€“ much like the two that tied the game in the first half â€“ seemed almost unreal, but for Kirwan it was to be expected from a team that for the better part of a season proved it had no quit.
"Certainly it's never great to be behind, but at the same time I know what these girls are capable of," Kirwan said. "Even though it can be a bit stressful, their mindset is always that they can come back. I'm super proud of them for that and I wouldn't expect anything less."
Deckert spoke to that fortitude as well, admitting that they were undoubtedly down, but at the same time acknowledged the confidence in their ability to always get back in the game.
"Mentally, I'm sure we were down early and even after that first overtime goal," she said. "But we just kept communicating and keeping each other's energy up, knowing we still had time. We knew we could come back."
In the end they ran out of time, but while a state title wasn't in the cards, even the defeat couldn't take from what was an otherwise winning Beaverton season.
"It was the best experience being a senior on this team," Deckert said, "And I just want to thank everyone on this team for making it so much fun this year."
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