North Marion girls soccer bests Scappoose in quarterfinals
When you pit two good teams against each other with everything on the line, it's usually the team that makes the fewest mistakes that reigns supreme. North Marion was that team in their girls soccer state quarterfinal, defeating the visiting Indians 2-0 Saturday afternoon, Nov. 5, at Canby High School.
"I thought we played fantastic, against a really good Scappoose team," North Marion head coach Ben Bonser said. "We haven't gotten to see a lot of high quality teams this year, so we were excited to play someone that good and we came through."
The Huskies (12-2-1) got two goals from senior forward Saylor Swanson, both coming off of Scappoose mistakes in the back end.
The first score came in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick as the result of an inadvertent handball in the Indians' 18-yard box. North Marion's Saylor Swanson netted the PK despite a great effort by Scappoose goalie Gabrielle Hanke who made a diving block, but saw the ball deflect to the side, then spin back into the goal to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
The second goal came just five minutes later and with just more than three minutes left in the first half, when a defensive mishap led to a loose ball in front of the Scappoose net and Swanson tapped it in to put North Marion ahead 2-0.
Scappoose head coach Bruno Zanotta said he was impressed by the Huskies early in the game, but thought his Indians had turned the tide late in the first half prior to the two mishaps. Yet, despite the two-goal deficit, Zanotta told his team that they were far from out of it during his halftime speech.
"The message was that the first 10 minutes of the second half are the most important," Zanotta said. "We can't allow another goal and we have to establish our rhythm. We're a team that scored over 80 goals this season and we could come back in this game, we just had to keep fighting hard."
And they did, getting a handful of quality looks both in the first and second halves. But North Marion goalkeeper Allyson Coulombe was determined to keep the Indians (13-2-1) off the board, and in the end she did just that.
"I have to say congratulations to North Marion that they were able to stop us, and their goalkeeper was stellar today," Zanotta said. "She faced three one-on-ones and stopped all of them."
Bonser was quick to acknowledge Coulombe as a key to their success against the No. 5-seeded Indians.
"She had some fantastic saves," the North Marion coach said. "She kept us in this game. There were definitely two that were for-sure goals that she saved, and maybe four to six."
Now, North Marion heads to the semifinals where they'll face the winner between top-seeded Marist Catholic and No. 8-seeded Philomath. The Huskies are more than familiar with Philomath, having split two league contests with them this season.
Bonser said that if given the choice he'd much prefer the league foe Warriors to Marist, but not for fear of either, but rather for one rather obvious reason—home field.
"It'd be nice to host another game," he said, "but we're excited for whoever comes our way."
Sadly, for Scappoose their season has come to an end. But senior co-captain Adison Stoddard said this year was special, in part due to the tight bond the team had with each other and the coaching staff.
"We definitely bonded a lot more than last year," Stoddard said. "It really helped. We like playing together and wanted to be around each other. It was just a fun and positive experience, which is why this (losing) is so hard."
Zanotta echoed Stoddard's sentiments regarding the team and season, and said it's now his job to continue the momentum from this season into next, and hopefully accomplish even more in 2023.
"We had a great season and we're going to keep working," the Scappoose coach said. "Last year we missed the playoffs, this season we won the league. Losing is hard, but we'll be back and will keep building our program strong."
While she'll be gone to graduation, Stoddard predicted good things for next year's team.
"The coaching is very supportive," she said. "Things are going much better, it's sad that I'm a senior when it's starting to build back up."
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