Sherwood girls tip Westview in playoff thriller
SHERWOOD — It was beyond crazy.
It was beyond emotional. It was beyond wild. It was beyond nerve-wracking.
It definitely went beyond regulation.
And, for the Sherwood High School girls soccer team, it went beyond any, old victory.
The Lady Bowmen, with their season on the line, outlasted Westview to get a 6-5 win in a roller-coaster ride of a second-round Class 6A state playoff match — which was decided by penalty kicks — played Wednesday at Sherwood High School.
"Oh, this was crazy," Sherwood senior defender Madi Pastores said. "I think all the girls were crying with emotion and exhaustion."
"These are tears of relief," said Sherwood junior forward Loma McNeese, who scored four goals in the contest. "It means a lot. Our seniors are so close to us, it's just special to get to play with them again. We love it out here, we love them."
"It's pretty big, now we get to keep going," said Sherwood junior goalkeeper Jadie Baldwin, who didn't start the match, but ended up making a key save during the penalty-kick shootout.
With the victory, Sherwood, the No. 2 team out of the Pacific Conference, and the No. 6 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 13-4 on the season. The Lady Bowmen also advance to play in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A state playoffs. They'll face Clackamas on Saturday in a match starting at 4 p.m. at Clackamas High School.
"Oh, this was a huge game, especially for the seniors, not wanting to end it here," Pastores said. "We wanted our last home game to be a win, and end it on a good note. Last year, we lost in this round, and we wanted to continue. We want to continue as long as we can."
Westview, the No. 4 team out of the Metro League and the No. 11 team in the power rankings, finished it season with a final overall record of 11-4-1.
"This has been a great season," Westview senior midfielder Kendall Ingersoll said. "We have a new coach and new staff, and our girls are motivated. This was a young team this year, but we've been working really hard, and it played off."
Sherwood got the scoring started in the wild playoff contest, with senior Alex Verkamp connecting on a volley shot from five yards away, coming off a corner kick by senior Abby Eisenbeiss, coming with 16 minutes and 57 seconds left to play in the first half.
It didn't take long for Westview to answer back — 10 seconds to be exact. Wildcat junior Katelyn Volchok scored on a breakaway following the ensuing Westview kickoff, quickly tying the match at 1-1.
Sherwood regained the lead, at 2-1, when McNeese scored her first goal of the night, coming from 10 yards away off a touch pass by junior Alysia Alvarado with 9:22 remaining in the first half. Again, Westview responded. The Wildcats tied the match, at 2-2, when sophomore Carly Carraher scored on an open shot from 15 yards away with 6:55 left in the half. The teams would go the intermission still tied at 2-2.
The Lady Bowmen seemed to take control early in the second half. McNeese scored back-to-back goals to give Sherwood a 4-2 advantage with 33:15 remaining to play in the second half.
But, once more, Westview came battling back. The Wildcats cut the lead to 4-3 when freshman Tess Werts put her shot from 16 yards out into the right side of the Sherwood goal with 28:28 remaining. Westview then tied the match, at 4-4, when Werts scored on a follow-up shot with 16:53 left to play.
"We lost a little confidence when we were down 4-2, then we got a goal back, at 4-3, and from there on, we knew we just had to keep playing," Ingersoll said. "We never lost our motivation. Our heads were up. We always positive, working for each other, working for our team."
Neither team was able to score again in regulation play, sending the match to two 10-minute overtime sessions.
Westview took its first lead of the match, at 5-4, when Carraher scored on a long-range shot, putting the ball into the upper left corner of the Bowmen goal with 8:32 left to play in the first 10-minute OT period.
Now, it was Sherwood's turn to try and rally — and the Lady Bowmen did just that.
McNeese notched her fourth goal of the match, and seventh of the postseason, putting a shot from 30 yards away into the upper left side of the Westview goal, tying the match at 5-5 with 5:06 left to play in the first overtime session.
"It went back and forth again, just like Saturday (a 3-2 first-round win over South Eugene)," McNeese said. "But our team knows how to leave it all out there, even if we have to wait to the last minute, but we get it done. I really don't think we had any doubts."
Neither team was able to score again in overtime, sending the match to a penalty-kick shootout.
Just prior to the penalty-kick shootout, Baldwin, who entered the game at the start of the second half, got a few words of advice from Sherwood assistant coach Mikaela Doherty, who was in goal for Sherwood in a penalty kick shootout in the 2011 Class 5A state championship match, where the Lady Bowmen bested Wilsonville 1-0.
"She told me to always go 100 percent to one side, and to watch their hips when they kick it," Baldwin said.
That advice would end up paying off.
Ingersoll, going first for Westview in the penalty-kick shootout, put her shot into the left side of the Sherwood goal, giving her team a 1-0 lead. McNeese, up first for Sherwood, misfired on her attempt.
But Baldwin helped even things up for the Lady Bowmen as, diving to her right, she blocked an attempt by Carraher.
"I was kind of nervous," Baldwins said. "I went to one side, 100 percent, and gave it my all."
"Jadie kind of saved my butt," McNeese said.
Westview, from there, got successful tries from senior Olivia Leavitt and Volchok, but the Wildcats also had one shot sail over the crossbar.
Meanwhile, Sherwood got successful shots from junior Jillian Leroux, Alvarado and Eisenbeiss, leaving the shootout score tied at 3-3, with Lady Bowmen sophomore Morgen Fried taking the final shot. Fried drilled her attempt into the left side of the Westview goal, giving Sherwood a 6-5 win (4-3 in the shootout), and igniting a Lady Bowmen victory celebration.
"This was awesome, it's halloween, and I'm glad everyone showed up in their costumes," Pastores said. "The support that we have in Sherwood is amazing. I couldn't ask for more. The environment is great, we all love each other, in the community. We wanted to win. We really take grit and resilience seriously, and we leave it all out there, 100 percent, regardless of the score."
"All of these emotions were going through my head," Baldwin said. "It was like, 'wow.'"
Sherwood, for the match, had 15 shots on goal and seven corner kicks. Westview had 10 shots on goal and one corner kick.
"I'm just incredibly proud of our team," Ingersoll said. "I think that this was a new level for us. We played to our opponent and we kept fighting. I was amazed. I was proud. We didn't get the result we wanted tonight, but I couldn't be prouder with the way we ended."
Clackamas, the Mt. Hood Conference champion, and the No. 3 team in the power rankings, brings an overall record of 13-2-1 into Saturday's quarterfinal match.
"We really have to just keep doing what we're going — work harder, get better," McNeese said. "We just need to be positive. We're good at building ourselves up. We're looking forward to it."
The winner of Tuesday's match at Clackamas will face either West Linn or Barlow in a state playoff semifinal on Tuesday.