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Indians finish Valley Catholic 4-1 in Class 4A state semifinal, will face Brookings for championship on Saturday



SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Natalie Muth (13) and the Scappoose High School girls' soccer team finished No. 11 Valley Catholic 4-1 in the OSAA Class 4A State Championships semifinals on Tuesday at Doc Ackerson Stadium in St. Helens.Lucy Davidson and the Scappoose High School girls' soccer team had an answer for defending OSAA Class 4A state champion Valley Catholic in Tuesday's semifinal.

The No. 2 Indians beat the 11th-ranked Valiants 4-1 at Doc Ackerson Stadium in St. Helens.

Scappoose (17-0 overall) is scheduled to face 12th-ranked Far West League runner-up Brookings — which upset top seed Molalla 1-0 in the semifinals on Tuesday in Canby — in the state championship match at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.

Valiants senior forward Reilly Blood zipped a penalty kick past Jessie Dykes to break the Indians' nine-match shutout streak four minutes into Tuesday's match, but the Indians did not flinch.

"I gave up that PK and I felt horrible," the Indians' Madison Verzino said. "But we got each other together, focused and didn't let it get to us."

Scappoose had not allowed more than a goal in any contest this season, and kept it that way.

Valley Catholic (12-5-1) had not lost when allowing fewer than three goals, so Scappoose scored four.

"We like to pressure and bring it to them in the first 15-to-20 minutes," Indians coach Rebekah Kurle said. "We have a go-for-the-ball mentality, and we set the tone of the game."

Davidson's fastbreak shot from the top of the box nailed the left post and skittered in for the 1-1 equalizer with 28:22 to halftime.

"We try to possess the ball, and hard work turns into physicality," Davidson said. "We go after 50-50 balls and pursue through balls for one-on-twos."

Verzino's shot from the left richocheted in off of Valiants sophomore keeper Noelle Mannen for a 2-1 lead with 7:33 to the break.

Eleanor Jones' header found the back of the net on a cross from Lauren Frank for a 3-1 lead with four minutes to intermission.

Davidson angled a fast break shot off the right post and into the goal 1:01 into the second half.

The Indians also beat the Valiants 3-0 on Oct. 6 in Beaverton and 5-0 on Oct. 27 in Scappoose as they reclaimed the Cowapa League crown.

In the quarterfinals, Jones's sixth-minute header gave the Indians a jump as they defeated No. 7 Corbett 4-0 on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Doc Ackerson Stadium.

Scappoose's physicality kept the Cardinals from setting up, and the Indians led 1-0 at the half.

Davidson landed a pair of penalty kicks — awarded for a Corbett handball and tripping — past senior keeper Cloey Shostak with 27:39 and 25 minutes left in regulation.

Natalie Muth split Shostak and her defenders point-blank in front of the goal with 9:45 to go.

The Indians also finished No. 15 Klamath Union 5-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

"We're dialed in and we try to make practice very competitive," Kurle said. "We mark up with goalkeeper communication and midfield control with our forwards up."

Brookings, in search of its first state championship, upset No. 5 Cascade in the first round on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and beat fourth-ranked North Bend 1-0 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Scappoose makes its second state championship appearance in three years after defeating La Grande 3-1 for the title at Liberty High School in 2013.

"We'll do some recovery runs, get back on it and get after it on Saturday," Verzino said.

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