Glencoe girls defeat Sherwood in key conference battle
Tide win! Kind of.
The Glencoe girls soccer team defeated No. 6-ranked Sherwood in a key Pacific Conference battle, 2-0, Oct. 18, at Hare Field, and in the process clinched at least a tie for the conference title with but one game remaining in the regular season. But as stated prior to the season, the Crimson Tide weren't aiming at a co-conference title then, and they won't be satisfied with it now, with but a game with Forest Grove left between them and their first ever girls soccer league title.
"If feels amazing," said Glencoe standout center back Michaela Kirschten. "Our goals this year were to win league and then try and win state. We're on our way to the first objective, and today was a big step towards that."
Fellow Glencoe senior, Sarah Mauk shared in her teammate's enthusiasm.
"It feels great because we've never won the league before," Mauk said. "In the gym we have all these league and state championship banners, and girls soccer isn't up there. So if we win it, I'm part of the first team to do it and that'd be really cool."
The Tide wasted little time getting on the board on this night, getting a goal just four minutes into the game when midfielder Taylor Coulson sent a beautiful cross into the box from the right corner, then watched as freshman Avery Jensen finished on a timely touch in front of the net. Then, just 15 minutes later, Glencoe added a second goal when Mauk controlled a ball just inside the 18-yard box, turned and sent a low bullet past the diving Sherwood goalie and into the lower left portion of the net to put the home Tide ahead 2-0.
"I was really surprised when I took the shot and it went in," said Mauk. "I was trying to get it far post in the air and it ended up going near post on the ground, so I was like okay, that's cool. It was crazy."
Glencoe head coach Josh Richards was understandably pleased for his girls and with their effort after the game, but not just on this night, but also throughout the season.
"It's a huge win and that was a good team we just played," the coach said. "We hadn't really been tested in a few weeks, so it was good to come out and play a team that was going to test us both physically and mentally, and we made it easy on ourselves by getting that goal early."
Sherwood, who like the Tide were undefeated in league play coming into the game, struggled to mount any sort of a charge against the Glencoe defense, threatening on just a couple occasions in the first half.
It was more of the same in the second half, with the bulk of the game being played in the midfield. The Bowmen did have an opportunity late when a ball got through the Tide defense and past their hard-charging goal keeper, towards what appeared to be Sherwood's first goal. But Kirschten alertly chased the ball down and redirected it as it inched towards the goal line, securing the home team's two-goal lead.
"It's the center back's job to keep the ball out of the net, so we let our goal keeper down by letting it back there," a humble Kirschten said. "It was kind of my job to chip that out of there."
Now Glencoe, a semi-finalist from last year's state playoffs, will host Forest Grove Monday, Oct. 22, with an opportunity to clinch a solo Pacific Conference title — on senior night. Which won't be taken lightly by any of the 13 seniors or their coach, who believes his team is only getting better with every game.
"We have 13 seniors on this team and this is going to be their last regular season game of their high school career, and I think that speaks for itself," said Richards. "I think playing some of the teams in our league has built our confidence and given us a better idea of what we're trying to do and what we need to succeed. We're getting better every game."
And how does Mauk feel about what could be her and her team's final opportunity to play
"I'm pumped," she said. "It's going to be senior night, and I'm so excited for all the seniors on the team."
Glencoe's game against Forest Grove, Oct. 22, is set for 7:00 P.M. at Hare Field.