The Timberwolves beat Sunset 2-0 to claim the Class 6A state championship

by: DAN BROOD - JUMPING FOR JOY -- Tualatin High School senior Jill Farley jumps into the air after scoring on a free kick to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead over Sunset in Saturday's Class 6A state championship match.HILLSBORO — Maybe it was all determination.

Maybe it was a matter of peaking at the right time.

Maybe it was skill and talent.

Maybe it was motivation and inspiration.

Heck, maybe it was all of the above.

The Tualatin High School girls soccer team sure seemed to have it all, and it all resulted in the Timberwolves getting to celebrate a state championship.

Tualatin, seemingly refusing to be denied, powered it way to a 2-0 win over a gifted Sunset squad in the OSAA Class 6A state championship match, played Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - FOR THE DEFENSE -- Tualatin senior defender Alyssa Durdel (2) keeps the ball away from Sunset freshman Nia McFerrin in Saturday's state championshp match. The Wolves got a 2-0 victory “I can’t stop smiling,” said Tualatin junior Kyla Hackelman, who scored one of the Wolves’ two goals in the title-game victory. “This means everything to us. Back in August, we started to put in all of the work and effort, and it paid off. We had a goal to succeed.”

“It means a lot to us,” Tualatin junior defender Ariana Pumpelly said. “Things were a little rough at the beginning of the season. But, at the end, it all came together.”

“It’s amazing,” Tualatin senior Lauren Helmreich said with a big smile on her face. “It means so much to us. For the seniors, it was our last game. I’m so proud of us.”by: DAN BROOD - IN CHARGE -- Kale' Dwight helped lead Tualatin to the state title in his first year as the team's head coach.

Sunset, the No. 2 team out of the Metro League, finished its season with a final overall record of 14-3-2. Saturday’s setback was the Apollos’ first loss since Sept. 19.

Tualatin, the No. 2 team out of the Pacific Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 13-2-3. The Timberwolves went 12-0-2 over their final 14 matches, including a 2-0 win over previously-unbeaten Jesuit in the semifinals and, of course, the championship-match win over Sunset.

“These girls are awesome,” first-year Tualatin head coach Kalé Dwight said. “This is incredible. They put in all of the hard work. They came together as a team and did it.”

“It’s unbelievable how far the team has come,” Tualatin sophomore goalkeeper Emily Leonard said. “We powered through every single game. It was amazing.”

“We proved we belonged here,” said Tualatin senior Jill Farley, who had the Wolves’ other goal and was named Tualatin’s Player of the Match. “We came in with the confidence that we could win. We really peaked at the right time.”

by: JAIME VALDEZ - TAKING THE LEAD -- Tualatin's (from left) Lauren Helmreich, Kyla Hackelman and Jordan Anderson celebrate in front of Sunset's Taylor Coon after Helmreich scored the first goal in the Wolves' 2-0 win. Saturday’s match marked the third straight year that Tualatin ended its season with a contest with the Apollos. In 2011, the Wolves beat Sunset 1-0 in the state championship match. But, last year, the Apollos knocked Tualatin out of the playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win in a second-round state playoff contest.

“We wanted revenge for last year,” Pumpelly said. “We were fired up.”

And it showed — right from the start of Saturday’s title tilt.

The Tualatin defense, getting strong play from Pumpelly, junior Natalie Shen, senior Alyssa Durdel, freshman Anna Verloo, Farley and senior Madison Campbell, set the tone early. Sunset had only two shots on goal in the first half of the contest, with Leonard making the save on both of those attempts.

Tualatin had a pair of long-range free kick attempts by Farley in the first 16 minutes of the match. Sunset senior goalkeeper Taylor Luty made the save on both of those shots, keeping the teams in a scoreless tie.

But that soon changed — thanks to some persistent, heads-up play by the Wolves.

Tualatin sophomore forward Corinne Togiai battled a throng of Sunset defenders for the ball near the top of the penalty box in front of the Apollo goal. Togiai, leaping high, kept play alive with a header.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - I GOT IT -- Tualatin sophomore goalkeeper Emily Leonard goes up to grab the ball during first-half play Saturday at the Class 6A state championship match.Sunset battled the ball around, but failed to get clearance.

The ball bounced toward the right side, and Hackelman took advantage. Sprinting to the ball, she hit a running shot from 15 yards out. The ball got underneath a sliding Luty and bounded inside the right post of the Sunset goal to give Tualatin a 1-0 lead with 22:37 remaining in the first half.

“I don’t even really remember it,” Hackelman said. “I just got my foot on it, and it went in. I was so happy. There’s nothing like getting a goal in the championship.”

“That was absolutely incredible,” Dwight said of Hackelman’s goal. “She is so calm and she’s so creative. It was huge getting that first goal.”

“I think we picked up the intensity even more after that,” Helmreich said.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - ON THE RUN -- Tualatin High School freshman Anna Verloo (19) races to get to the ball ahead of Sunset freshman Rose Pflug in Saturday's title contest. Verloo helped the Timberwolves get the shutout.That showed on the defensive end in the final four minutes of the first half. First, Pumpelly headed away a long Sunset free kick into the box and then Leonard grabbed a bouncing ball near the Tualatin goal, coming off a free kick by Sunset senior Taylor Coon, helping preserve the Wolves’ 1-0 lead going into halftime.

Tualatin looked to have momentum on its side going into the second half of contest and, soon after, that went up in a big way.

With 36:53 left to play, Farley scored on what can easily be described as an incredible free kick goal to up the lead to 2-0.

Taking the shot from 26 yards out, from right of the center mark of the field, Farley hit a low line drive, with the ball sailing just out of the reach of a diving Luty, then hitting the left post and then ricocheting across the mouth of the goal and bouncing inside the right post for a goal.

“Jill’s goal was amazing,” Pumpelly said.

“That was an awesome goal,” Hackelman said. “It couldn’t have been a more perfect shot.”

“That’s Jill,” Dwight said with a smile. “She’s so good in every situation. I’m really happy for her. She deserves this.”

“I was so excited,” Farley said of the goal. “Taylor is such a great goalkeeper. I knew it had to be low. That felt really good.”

After Farley’s astounding goal, the Timberwolves could sense victory.

by: DAN BROOD - WE WIN -- The Tualatin High School girls soccer team starts celebrating following the victory over Sunset. “I was thinking that it finished it,” Tualatin senior midfielder Megan Landmark said.

“We were thinking this is over,” Helmreich said.

Well, not quite, as the Apollos tried to turn up their intensity to get back into the match.

With 33:26 remaining, Sunset sophomore Adalina Bajrami hit a high, line-drive shot at the Tualatin goal from 35 yards away on the left side. But Leonard, timing her jump perfectly, was able to go up high and get a hand on the ball, tipping it over the crossbar of the Tualatin goal.

“I saw it coming in, and I thought there was no way I would be able to catch it,” Leonard said. “So I tried to tip it over.”

Tualatin kept the pressure on after that, getting shots from Togiai and Farley.

Sunset’s final scoring opportunity came with 1:37 left to play. Apollo junior Alex Bibo hit a shot at the Tualatin goal from 15 yards out. Campbell deflected the shot and Leonard grabbed the loose ball.

From that point, maybe even a bit before, the Timberwolves started getting ready to celebrate the victory.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - TUALATIN'S TROPHY -- The Timberwolf players, and other Tualatin High School students, celebrate with the state championship trophy.“With about two minutes left, I started looking at the clock and counting down,” Leonard said.

Finally, the final horn sounded and the Wolves began their championship celebration.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Farley said of her first emotions at the end of the match. “It didn’t seem real. But we proved we had it in us.”

“We went out with a bang,” Landmark said with a smile. “I was so proud of everyone.”

“This was just the biggest game, by far,” Durdel said. “It felt great. We have such a close-knit team this year — from seniors to freshmen.”

“I can’t describe it,” Hackelman said. “We just put so much effort into this. It’s totally amazing.”

In addition to Hackelman’s and Farley’s clutch goals, defense also looked to be a key for Tualatin in the victory, as the Wolves handed Sunset just its second shutout of the season, limiting the Apollos to just four shots on goal.

“We shut them down,” Dwight said. “Our defense is good, strong and fast.”

by: DAN BROOD - ALL TOGETHER -- The Tualatin High School players and coaches gather together after receiving the state championship trophy following their 2-0 victory over Sunset on Saturday.“We really worked well together,” Pumpelly said.

“That was one of my goals,” Leonard said of getting the shutout.

“We stayed mentally strong,” Farley said as being a key to the victory.

The state title was the fourth for the Timberwolves, who have appeared in eight state-championship matches.

Other players for the 2013 Tualatin High School state-championship team include senior Kelly Skoglund, junior Aryana Harvey, sophomore Abbey Anderson, freshman Jordan Anderson, sophomore Amanda Morris, senior Audrey DePaepe, junior Adina Goodwin, sophomore Nicole LaTourette, freshman Gabriella Bates, sophomore Maura Dunigan and freshman Sara Elam. Mike Bass and Joy Boswell are the team’s assistant coaches.