Gladstone girls soccer edges past Marist 1-0 in Class 4A quarterfinals
Some days, one goal is all you need.
Just ask the Gladstone girls soccer team.
The Gladiators, top-ranked in the state among Class 4A teams, managed just one goal in their state quarterfinal contest against Marist on Saturday, Nov. 6, but on this day, that was enough to beat the Spartans 1-0 at Gladstone High School.
"I was really nervous until I got that goal," said Gladstone sophomore midfielder/forward Madison Hill, who scored the game's lone goal midway through the first half. "They're such a good team. The whole game we were under pressure, but I feel like we fought well as a team."
"We really wanted to win this game and I think we all were just trying super hard," said freshman midfielder/forward Victoria Vera. "We played hard for 80 minutes."
With the win — the team's 10th straight and its fifth straight by shutout — the No. 1 Gladiators improved to 15-1-0 overall and advanced to the state semifinals, where they will host No. 4 Woodburn (11-0-4 after winning the Oregon West Conference) on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.
Eighth-ranked Marist, meanwhile, saw its seven-game winning streak snapped and ended its year at 13-2-2 after winning the Sky Em League.
After some back-and-forth in the game's first 20 minutes, the Gladiators broke through to take a 1-0 lead with 16 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first half when the ball bounced out to Hill in the middle of the Spartans' penalty box and she chipped a short shot over the head of Marist senior goalkeeper Tessa Woodrum and into the goal.
"I thought there was a chance it could get through so I stepped in behind (teammate Hanna Hopkins) and I saw the ball coming so I took a touch with my left and it went over her," Hill said.
While that marked the day's lone goal, it was hardly the end of the excitement. Indeed, just two minutes later, Marist sophomore Cloe Chase bombed a 25-yard shot toward the top right corner of the Gladiators' goal and only junior keeper Emersyn Stepp's leaping one-handed tip prevented it from tying the game.
"Those top corner shots, those are usually goals and that's a letdown," Stepp said. "But I was just ready, I guess. Ready for this game, ready for some big shots."
Marist continued to manufacture corner kicks and shots in the second half, but Stepp and Gladstone senior defenders Alyx DeVeny, Jade Palacios and Emma May were up to the challenge each time and kept Marist off the scoreboard.
On their side of the field, the Gladiators had one additional chance to build their lead, but junior Delaney McNett's powerful free kick from just outside the Marist penalty box missed high with 28 minutes left in the contest.
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