Sherwood powers its way to a quarterfinal win over Putnam

by: DAN BROOD - STRIDING -- Sherwood senior Meghan Schoen takes off toward the Rex Putnam goal in Saturday's state playoff quarterfinal match. SHERWOOD — Motivation can be a big thing.

The Sherwood High School girls soccer team was brimming with motivation Saturday when it hosted Rex Putnam in a Class 5A state playoff match.

The Lady Bowmen seniors were extremely motivated — motivated not to let this be their final match.

And, thanks to a strong defensive effort and some clutch plays on offense, it wasn’t.

Sherwood, the defending state champion, kept its season, and its repeat hopes alive by scoring a 2-0 win over the Kingsmen in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal match played Saturday at Sherwood High School.

“We really wanted to win this game,” Sherwood senior defender Annie Govig said after the match. “It was all about this game — we played with a lot of heart.”

“The seniors get another game,” Sherwood senior goalie Kyeli Hendryx said.

“We’re one step closer,” Lady Bowmen senior midfielder Mikayla Howes added.

Rex Putnam, the No. 4 team out of the Northwest Oregon Conference, finished it season with a final overall record of DAN BROOD - IN GOOD HANDS -- Sherwood senior goalie Kyeli Hendryx grabs the ball following a Rex Putnam corner kick in the Lady Bowmen's 2-1 victory.

Sherwood, the NWOC runner-up, improved to 13-1-2 on the season with the victory. The Lady Bowmen also advance to play at Willamette in a state playoff semifinal match on Tuesday (see related story).

“This is incredibly exciting,” Sherwood senior defender Taylor Gersch said. “To be in the final four again is incredible. I’m speechless.”

Sherwood, in Saturday’s quarterfinal match, struck quickly.

Lady Bowmen sophomore forward Sarah Garoutte, after taking a pass from junior Emily Harris, smacked a shot from 10 yards away into the right side of the Putnam goal to give Sherwood a 1-0 lead just 1 minute and 51 seconds into the match.

The rest of the first half was a battle — an intense battle.

“We had to keep our cool,” Gersch said.

Sherwood got shots on goal from Howes, Garoutte and senior Meghan Schoen during the rest of the rest of the first half, but they weren’t able to capitalize on those.

But the Lady Bowmen defense was also up to the task in the first DAN BROOD - HEAD GAMES -- Sherwood senior Mikayla Howes (left) gets her head on the ball during Saturday's state quarterfinal win over Rex Putnam.

Howes and Gersch each had key clears in front of the Sherwood goal. Then, with 8:03 left in the half, Hendryx leaped to punch away a free-kick shot on goal by Putnam freshman Rachel Baker.

“I like jumping,” Hendryx said. “It makes things interesting.”

Well, things really got interesting in the second half.

The motivated Lady Bowmen came out firing to star the second half.

Sherwood had scoring chances with shots on goal from senior Jessica Imbrie, Schoen, Garoutte and Howes in the first 21 minutes. But Putnam, and junior goalie Bella Geist, the NWOC Player of the Year, kept the Lady Bowmen from adding to their lead.

But Sherwood also got key defensive plays. Hendryx had one of those, diving to grab an end line cross by Putnam sophomore Makenzie Maier with 26:51 remaining.

Then, with 17:50 left to play, Sherwood broke through.

Imbrie was fouled in the penalty box and Garoutte converted the ensuing penalty kick, putting her shot into the left side of the Putnam goal to up the Lady Bowmen lead to 2-0.

Hendryx then made a save on another free kick shot by Baker and she grabbed a corner kick by Maier in the final 14 minutes to wrap up the 2-0 win.

“I’m really happy and proud of the girls,” Sherwood coach Bill Brown said. “That team was really ready to play and their goalie is something else, but our girls came to play and our defense was really tough.”

“We matched their aggressiveness,” Govig said.

Sherwood had 10 shots on goal in the contest while the Lady Bowmen limited the Kingsmen to four shots on goal.