Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
PORTLAND — It was deja vu all over again.
And for the St. Mary's boys soccer team, deja vu was a very good thing on Saturday.
The No. 8 Crusaders upset top-ranked and previously undefeated Riverdale, 1-0, in the Class 3A/2A/1A state quarterfinals at Lewis & Clark College.
St. Mary's (10-2-2) also beat Riverdale (13-1), 1-0, in a 2010 quarterfinal match en route to a finals appearance.
The Crusuders made it back to the state championship in 2011, but came up short last fall with a loss in the first round.
Senior midfielder Tracy Salgado added to St. Mary's recent tradition of success with the game-winning goal in the 67th minute against the defending state champion.
"I'm so proud of this team," St. Mary's head coach Paul Coughlin said. "Throughout the season we just jelled. They never give up. The team has such a strong spirit to it and, this, after a fairly low season (last year) by our standards, the boys have done very, very well."
St. Mary's will play at No. 4 Portland Adventist Academy (10-4-1) in the semifinals on Tuesday. Portland Adventist Academy beat Canyonville Christian Academy, 3-1, on Saturday.
Oregon Episcopal will take on Riverside in the other semifinal.
The Crusaders had three shots on goal in the first three minutes, Coughlin said, including a header by Salgado that Riverdale's goalkeeper just got a hand on.
But at the end of a scoreless first half, both squads had three shots.
Enter Salgado, whose boot from just inside the penalty box with 13 minutes left hit a post and ricocheted off the goalkeeper and into the net.
After that, "it was the 13 longest minutes of my life," Coughlin said.
St. Mary's tightened its defense slightly while still deploying some offensive pressure en route to the triumph, Coughlin said.
Senior goalkeeper Christian Aviles came up big along the way.
"He was very dynamic in goal," Coughlin said. "He anticipated shots well and got down very quickly on the ball and made some fabulous saves."
Sophomore Eli Conway assisted in slowing down Riverdale's Ben Field, which was no easy task, Coughlin said.
"He is by far the fastest soccer player I've ever seen," the coach said. "He's so fast, you couldn't even touch him. Eli Conway did a good job of making life difficult on him."
NYSSA 48, ILLINOIS VALLEY 10 — At Nyssa, junior running back James Thompson surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark for the season and scored a touchdown for Illinois Valley in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
Keith Lewin booted in a field goal for the Cougars (6-6), who trailed 34-3 at halftime.
Nyssa (10-0) advances to play Santiam Christian in the quarterfinals.
SISTERS 3, HIDDEN VALLEY 2 — At Eugene, Sisters edged Hidden Valley, 25-9, 25-17, 20-25, 23-25, 15-7, in a Class 4A state third-place match at Lane Community College.
Megan Combe had 11 kills and Chloe Lindgren 14 blocks for the Mustangs (20-3).
McKenzie Cushman recorded seven kills, 28 assists and two aces and libero Colleen Bailey 40 digs against Sisters (21-6).
Boys Water Polo
ASHLAND 13, WEST ALBANY 11 — At Corvallis, Taos Cadarette-Stewart recorded five goals, two assists and two blocks to help lead Ashland to a third-place finish at state.
Hoku Eggertsen chipped in four goals, two steals, one block and one assist and Cole Harding had two goals, two assists and two steals.
Tristan Gavin added one goal, two assists and one steal and goalkeeper Vincent Wright made six blocks.
Girls Water Polo
ASHLAND 8, PARKROSE 7 — At Corvallis, Maddy Longshore recorded five goals, including the go-ahead score, as Ashland captured third place at state.
Sadie Kasiah, who had one goal, one assist, two steals and three blocks, made a match-clinching save for the Grizzlies.
Sabrina Scoggin offered up two goals and one assist and goalkeeper Kaya Boehm had 10 blocks.