Sherwood girls soccer opens up to beat Lake Oswego 3-2
In a normal season, there's time to learn, to grow and even to make mistakes.
In the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, however, every game is a big game and the Sherwood girls soccer team played like that Wednesday, March 24.
The Lady Bowmen, hosting Lake Oswego in non-league action, rebounded from a one-goal deficit in the second half and scored three times in the final 26 minutes, 24 seconds to win 3-2 at Sherwood High School.
"In the second half, we just had to bring it together and play as a team," said Sherwood senior midfielder and team captain Joley Sproul, who scored her team's second goal Wednesday. "I think in the first half, we were a little scatterbrained, maybe a little nervous, so we just had to come together as a team."
"We were able to work together to score goals (in the second half)," said Sherwood sophomore forward Ella Weathers, who notched the Lady Bowmen's second goal against LO. "I'm glad we won. We ruined their winning streak."
With the win — Sherwood's fourth straight — the Lady Bowmen improved to 5-2 overall; they're also 3-0 in Pacific Conference play. Lake Oswego, meanwhile, saw its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-2 overall; the Lakers are also 4-1 in Three Rivers League play.
"(There were) just some mistakes that we can pinpoint," said Lake Oswego senior captain Rachel Sasadeusz. "It's just working through some kinks ... (but) we have a really good chemistry and a really good work ethic."
"We just needed to ... keep working hard and pressuring them," said LO junior Julia Sieber, who scored her team's first goal against Sherwood.
Through most of Wednesday's first half, the two teams traded possession and shots, with Sherwood's best chance to score coming on a Sproul shot set up by senior Allison Alvarado that forced a diving stop by LO junior keeper Lauren Smith in the 14th minute, and Weathers' follow shot forcing a diving one-handed Smith stop moments later.
The Lakers, meanwhile, came up empty on three early corner kicks but took a 1-0 lead with 18:52 left in the half when junior Karolina Shipton sent a corner kick into the Sherwood penalty box and Sieber knocked it past Sherwood junior keeper Tali Kozma at the far post for a 1-0 lead that held up until halftime.
Weathers very nearly tied the contest when she ricocheted a left-footed shot off the crossbar six minutes into the second half, then made it 1-1 when Alvarado's through ball was deflected to Weathers, who ran onto it and hit a low shot to the right side of the LO goal with 26:24 remaining in the game.
Then, just 2:29 later, Lake Oswego failed to clear the ball on a pass across its own goal mouth and Sproul ran onto the ball and scored at the left post for a 2-1 lead.
Things got worse for the Lakers before they got better, too, with Alvarado tracking down a deflected pass in the middle of the Lakers' penalty box and scoring at the left post to make it 3-1 with 13:02 remaining in the game.
After giving up three goals in 17:40, you might have excused the Lakers if they'd hung their heads and began looking ahead to their next game, but that's not what they did. Instead, they bore down, forced the action and cut the Sherwood lead to 3-2 when junior Rylee Winn connected past Sherwood senior keeper Sydney Sproul for her team's second goal with 8:34 left on the clock.
"It was a beautiful goal, just coming out of the back and working its way through the midfield and up to our forwards," Sasadeusz said.
The equalizing goal, however, did not come for the Lakers and Sherwood walked off with the 3-2 victory.
"We weren't used to pressuring their back because their keeper passes it out instead of (kicking) it. We weren't used to that," Sproul said. "So we talked about that at halftime and we had to press up a bit more than we're used to and it ended up working."
On their side of the field, the Lakers knew they just needed to eliminate their mistakes and keep their heads up.
"Once we got scored on in the second half, we needed to make sure we didn't drop down," Sieber said. "I think we were definitely getting there. It was obviously a really close game."
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