Clackamas blanks Barlow in clash of Mt. Hood girls' soccer powers
The Clackamas Cavaliers didn't wait for Barlow to bring Wednesday's Mt. Hood Conference girls' soccer match to them.
They took the game to the Bruins.
Clackamas' Emma Anderson and Kyla Sullivan scored one goal each in the first half and one goal each in the second half as the Cavaliers rolled to a 4-0 home win and handed the Bruins to their first loss of the season.
Senior keeper Hallie Byzewski registered her fifth consecutive shutout for the Cavaliers (7-2-1, 3-0 Mt. Hood), who kept pace with Sandy atop the league standings while clearing a significant hurdle in their bid to claim an outright league championship.
"The whole team gave 100 percent the entire game," said Sullivan, the Cavs' junior forward. "Nobody took any plays off. Everybody was giving full effort the entire game. It was awesome."
Clackamas coach Manuel Martinez said the game plan was to "play simple and try to stay compact."
"Everyone probably heard me yell a lot, 'Get up! Get up! Get up!'" Martinez said, "We were trying to keep everything compact, play everything to feet, try to play around them, and then pick our spots to play the ball over.
"We had been in the habit of just hitting the long ball and chasing it down, but tonight we tried to keep our formation as we moved up and down the field."
Barlow (8-1-1, 2-1) almost scored first when Abi Hoffman's shot hit the inside of the right post and bounced the length of the goalmouth before rolling out of harm's way in the ninth minute.
Then the tables turned as Clackamas dialed up some high energy and pressured Barlow's defense into two fouls that set the stage for the Cavs' first two goals about a minute apart.
On the first goal, Peyton Mongelli lofted a free kick from about 45 yards out that ended up on Sullivan's foot for a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that beat Bruins' keeper Lisa Martin in the 11th minute.
"I've got to be honest, I don't really remember what happened on that play," Sullivan said. "I think somebody tried to finish and the shot hit off a defender's shin and bounced right to me. I just tried to keep it on the ground."
Anderson took a direct free kick from about 25 yards out and wired a shot the rose over the Bruins' defensive wall and under the crossbar in the 12th minute to five Clackamas a 2-0 lead.
"There were pressuring us pretty high, but, realistically, I thought we were kind of hurting ourselves, honestly," Bruins coach Jay Jacobsen said. "We weren't connecting passes, we weren't going to the ball, and a lot of little things that we normally do, we were not doing. So, we made it easy in the first half.
"Against a team like Clackamas, you can't have a slow start. They jumped on us and I think that was the difference in the game."
At halftime, one of the big questions was whether the Cavaliers could sustain the intensity that they had played with through the first 40 minutes or if they'd take a more conservative approach.
"We talked about how we have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off before our next game, so why not get after it?" Martinez said. "We also talked about how we had to get a third goal for Barlow got one, because if they get one, the momentum shifts."
The Cavs got what they were looking for in the 47th minute when volleyed a bouncing ball just outside the 18 past Martin and inside the right post to make it 3-0.
Madeline Tetz then made a run down the right wing and centered the ball to a hard-charging Anderson, who one-timed the pass into the back of the net in the 56th minute.
"Of all the games we've played this year, we took a lot of time to talk about what we wanted to do," Martinez said. "We had it pretty much planned out, but I really thought this was going to be a one-goal game and that it was going to come down to the team that made the last mistake.
"One of our goals is to win the league championship outright. It was ours when we first got in this league, then we gave it up, and now we want to take it back. This was a huge game."
Was this Clackamas' best game of the season?
"I think best mentally, definitely," Sullivan said. "Everybody was on their 'A' game and everybody gave all-out effort.
"Our goal is always to be the first to score, so it was super-awesome to score right away. When we scored twice, it really helped set the tone for the game."
For the Bruins, the loss came as a shock to the system to a team that hadn't given up more than two goals in any of its first nine games.
"As a coach, you think you should win them all, but I think we'll be okay," Jacobsen said. "We had a good talk afterward and these girls are ready to fight for each other. We're a tight-knit group, like family, so I know they're going to be able to bounce back."
Monday's schedule features Clackamas at Reynolds, while Barlow is at home to face Gresham. Then on Wednesday, the Cavaliers play host to Gresham, and Barlow travels to take on league co-leader Sandy.