Sherwood tops Lakers in overtime thriller
SHERWOOD — It was crazy.
It was insane. Definitely nerve-wracking. Totally thrilling. Without a doubt, it was a roller coaster of emotions.
And, for the Sherwood High School girls soccer team, it could also be called an amazing victory.
The Lady Bowmen, after watching Lake Oswego rally back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to send the match to overtime, stepped up in the extra session to score a 4-2 win over the Lakers in a Class 6A state playoff second-round match played Tuesday in the fog at Sherwood High School.
"It was bizarre," said Sherwood senior Loma McNeese, who had a goal and an assist in the win. "I think we really showed what our team can do, and what we've been working on all season, but, yeah, it was a bizarre win."
"This was crazy," said Sherwood junior Joley Sproul, who scored the go-ahead goal in overtime. "Together, as a team, we've been coming together, and this is what we've been building for. We're just going to keep going and working hard."
With the win, Sherwood, the Pacific Conference champion, and the No. 4 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 15-1-1 on the season. The Lady Bowmen, who opened postseason play with a 3-1 home win over Aloha on Saturday, also advance to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, where they'll host West Salem in a match set to start at 5 p.m. Saturday at Sherwood High School.
"The fight is just rooted in us, as players, and it really comes from our coaches," McNeese said. "We want to win for us, we want to win for our seniors and we want to win for them. They're such great role models, on and off the field."
Lake Oswego, the No. 4 team out of the Three Rivers League, and the No. 13 team in the power rankings, finished it season with a final overall record of 7-7-2.
"It was a good season," said Lake Oswego senior Kate Diedrich, who scored the tying goal in the second half. "This was a good finish to our season. We showed well, and we fought hard. It wasn't the result we wanted, but it was representative of our fight."
Sherwood struck first, and early, in the second-round match. The Lady Bowmen took a 1-0 lead when senior Alysia Alvarado scored just 1 minute and 9 seconds into the contest.
McNeese gave Sherwood a 2-0 lead when, with 10:53 remaining in the first half, she hit a hard, line-drive shot from 30 yards away, with the ball hitting the bottom of the crossbar of the Laker goal, and bounding over the line for a Lady Bowmen goal.
Meanwhile, the Sherwood defense, including junior Morgen Fried, senior Isa Frost, senior Ava Boughey, junior Kendall Mickelson and senior Jillian Leroux kept the Lakers from getting a shot on goal in the first half, preserving Sherwood's 2-0 lead.
However, it was a fired-up Lake Oswego squad that took the field for the second half.
"I think we had a lot of opportunities in the first half," Diedrich said. "The difference between the second half and the first half was that we finished those opportunities, and took advantage of it. And we had more fire in us after we had our halftime talk."
And it showed.
Diedrich hit a hard shot on goal, with Sherwood junior goalkeeper Sidney Sproul diving to her right to block the shot. But Lake Oswego sophomore Lauren DeGroot, with a heads-up play, followed the shot and was in the right place at the right time, blasting a rebound attempt into the Lady Bowmen goal, cutting the Sherwood lead to 2-1 with 26:20 left in the match.
Then, with 14:10 remaining in the second half, Lake Oswego sophomore Haley Glass was knocked down in the penalty box, and the whistle blew. Diedrich drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the right side of the Sherwood goal, tying the match at 2-2.
"It's always nerve-wracking," Diedrich said of the penalty kick. "It felt good."
Neither team had a shot on goal in the remaining time in regulation, sending the playoff contest to overtime.
While momentum seemed to be on Lake Oswego's side going into the extra session, Sherwood looked to turn that around.
"We definitely needed to think about it, and we had to gear down and play together and play hard," Joley Sproul said. "We knew we had to play hard, or they'd get another one."
The Lady Bowmen threatened in the first minute of play in the first, of two, 10-minute overtime sessions, as Alvarado had an open shot on goal from 10 yards away. But Lake Oswego sophomore goalkeeper Sheila Bhowmik sprinted out to block the shot, one of many key plays she made throughout the contest.
But Sherwood wouldn't be denied. With 3:09 remaining in the first overtime session, McNeese had the ball near the top of the box. Just when it looked like she may try a shot, she saw Joley Sproul sprinting up field to her right. McNeese hit a perfectly timed pass to Sproul, who converted a hard-hit shot from 17 yards away, giving the Lady Bowmen a 3-2 lead.
"It was perfectly set up, and Loma hit a perfect ball. I just knew I had to run on and shoot it," Sproul said. "I had it in the back of my head that it was going to go in. I had the perfect swing on it. That felt awesome."
"I've had a role on the team, being the assist-maker, and it just worked perfectly," McNeese said. "I saw Joley, and put that through ball over there, and Joley just finished it, putting it into the back of the net. And it was a team effort, getting the ball up from the back."
The Lady Bowmen then struck again, with junior Allison Alvarado scoring on a shot from 25 yards out, with the ball sailing just underneath the crossbar of the Laker goal, upping the Sherwood lead to 4-2 with 33 seconds left in the first overtime session.
The Sherwood defense didn't allow Lake Oswego a shot on goal in the second overtime session, wrapping up the 4-2 victory.
"It was just happiness, joy and love for the game," Sproul said of her emotions at the end of the match. "We're told to always play with heart, and we did that. All of the work paid off."
"It was just really intense, and we normally do well under pressure," McNeese said. "We just need to work on how we play the last 20 minutes, and transitioning that into the first 80 minutes. It was a great battle. This was super fun. This is what we love to do."
For the match, Sherwood had 12 shots on goal and three corner kicks. Lake Oswego had four shots on goal and six corner kicks.
"I think it went well. We showed very well," Diedrich said. "We knew we were going to have a hard game. They're ranked really high, and they're a good team, but we were ready to fight hard."
West Salem, the Mountain Valley Conference champion, and the No. 5 team in the OSAA power rankings, brings a 13-0-3 record into Saturday's quarterfinal match at Sherwood. The two teams have met already this season, playing to a 2-2 tie in a match played Sept. 18 at Sherwood High School.
"We're ready to play our game, and get focused," McNeese said. "We finished with a tie the last time we played them, but we're eager to get a win this time."
"We're ready for this," Joley Sproul said. "We've been preparing hard. We're ready to go out and get a win."
The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal match at Sherwood will advance to meet either Jesuit or Barlow in a state playoff semifinal contest on Tuesday.
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