The Pioneers will play host to Bend in a quarterfinal matchup on Saturday night.

SANDY POST: MATT RAWLINGS - Sandy's Sophie Burton (left) jockeys for position with a Silverton defender in a battle for the ball.

Playoffs (First Round)
5A Girls Soccer

Team Score

SANDY — One of Sandy's key assets coming into this season was experience. The Pioneers returned 13 players from their team that advanced to the quarterfinals last season. And in their first round playoff game on Wednesday, the Pioneers played like they've been there before.

Natalie Paul led Sandy with two goals on the night as the Pioneers made quick work of the Silverton Foxes on Tuesday, winning the match 4-0.

"One of our issues in the past with playoff games was a lack of experience going in," Sandy head coach Nick Kern said. "Now, we don't have that anxiety…We are immensely prepared from game to game."

After both teams traded shots on goal in the first 12 minutes, it was defense leading to offense that got Sandy the early lead.

Silverton's Chloe O'Connor chased down a ball that got through the Sandy back line and looked to have a great opportunity to score, but Sandy defender Jordan McLeod made a beautiful sliding tackle to prevent the shot.

The ball was cleared by goalie Emma Carstens and sent up the sideline to Baylee Groom, who dribbled across the midfield line, found some clear space to her right and fired a laser into the back of the net from nearly 40 yards away, putting Sandy on top 1-0.

"I have complete faith in our back line. I have their back and they have mine," McLeod said. "That gives me the ability to just play freely."

Look for extended coverage in the Nov. 8 print edition.

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