Park’s late goal gives RVT Red U19 girls tourney title
No matter how many shots they had, how many of those they put on goal, the Rogue Valley Timbers 02G Red girls just couldn’t seem to find a breakthrough.
So, when an injury stoppage provided a chance for one last team talk as the end of regulation was approaching, it was easy to figure out what the discussion centered around.
“It was just about keeping your head and it didn’t matter if we scored in the 30th minute, the 70th minute or in overtime, we’re going to score,” head coach Kevin Primerano said, “and we just have to keep believing.”
That goal came less than 60 seconds after play resumed.
Consider the pep talk a success.
Midfielder Casey Park’s strike into the top-left corner with seven minutes to go proved to be the game-winner after over an hour of chances and close calls, as the Timbers recorded a 1-0 win over Oregon United FC in the championship game of the Rogue Memorial Challenge’s U19 Cascade bracket on Monday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
“Patience was definitely important in this game,” Park said. “Props to their keeper because she was fantastic and that’s what we had a lot of difficulty with, but it definitely took a lot of patience. It definitely could have been more than 1-0, but I’m just glad we ended up with the win in the end ... .”
It was the second time in less than 24 hours that these two teams played one another, with RVT Red recording a 1-0 win Sunday. That goal, however, came less than 20 minutes into the game. On Monday, Oregon United’s tactics were clear: sit deep in a defensive shell, try to absorb pressure as much as possible and then attempt to hit Rogue Valley on the counterattack when possible.
It was seemingly one-way traffic from opening kickoff to final whistle. But also the kind of game that tested the Timbers’ mental fortitude.
RVT Red dominated possession and outshot Oregon United 25-1, with Timbers goalkeeper Sam Borngasser, who recorded her third shutout of the tournament in Monday’s win, having little to do for extended periods of time.
The key, the Timbers said, was to stay level-headed and not let any kind of frustration set in despite so many chances being created and not finding the back of the net.
“We just had to keep it together and we knew that if we panicked we weren’t going to get anything in because it was just going to be too frantic out there,” midfielder Taylor Denn said. “We just tried to keep calm and play our game, and it worked out in the end.”
Indeed it did.
Park’s game-winning goal came mere seconds after play was restarted after Oregon United goalkeeper Macy Frye came out of the game due to injury. Frye had proven to be the biggest reason that RVT hadn’t scored up to that point, with many of her 10 saves being high-quality stops.
But Park’s shot was one that even Frye wouldn’t have gotten.
Park, a standout on Grants Pass’ Southern Oregon Conference tournament title-winning team earlier this spring, got a little bit of space after jumping on a loose ball and let it fly. It proved to be the breakthrough that her team had been searching for all game.
“Their line of confrontation, they started at the 50-yard line and wouldn’t press until we hit the 50-yard line. Then they dropped back and wouldn’t pressure us until the 30-yard line, and you wouldn’t get any pressure until you were deep into their defensive half,” Park said. “It was definitely loaded, but I had enough of a ricochet in the middle and we just got lucky with that one.”
And you better believe there was a sense of relief as well.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that stoked,” Denn said of Park’s goal. “I just started screaming and ran to her.”
The game-winning goal was a fitting end for Park, who was one of RVT Red’s best players the entire tournament.
“I’ve coached a lot of good players and I have a lot of good players on this team, but Casey Park is the most complete soccer player I’ve ever coached,” Primerano said. “She understands the game, she communicates well, her movement — she reads the game, she understands it like no other player I’ve coached male or female. She’s just a class person, class individual.”
In other action Monday, Oregon United beat the Brookings Bruins 3-0 to claim the Cascade U18-19 boys title. RVT Red toppled Players North 03B Premier 4-0 in the third-place game, finishing the tournament with two convincing wins after recording back-to-back-to-back draws. Players North 02B beat Epuerto Sports 4-0 to claim the Siskiyou bracket title.
The Rogue Valley Timbers girls swept the U18-19 division, with RVT beating Basin United Green 3-0 to claim the Sierra bracket.
RVT Red started Monday’s Cascade title game fast. Rainie Dabbs had her team’s first chance all of three minutes in after being slotted through from the top of the box, but only to be denied by Frye.
Before the first half came to a close, Denn and Sophia Dobry both had quality scoring chances stopped by Frye.
Six of the Timbers nine first-half shots were on target.
“Trying to pull them out from the back, we had to drop it, swing it, move the ball around to move girls this way and that way so we could make space for ourselves,” Denn said of how they were trying to attack against a team sitting so deep. “But yeah, it was definitely difficult to break the line.”
It was a successful end to a tournament that returned after the COVID-19 pandemic forced last year’s edition to be canceled.
The players, especially the older ones, were thankful to have it back.
“I loved it,” said Denn, who will be playing at Abilene Christian University in the fall. “I haven’t gotten to play a lot of games — I had COVID for a time, so I couldn’t play a few of my State Cup games — so getting to play in this tournament was awesome. It’s been a little bit sad and having to say bye to everyone, but I’m glad we got to finish out the year and didn’t have to do any of the regulation stuff. Being able to play full-out was great.”
“This entire weekend felt like we just woke up from a bad dream,” Primerano added. “We’re walking around, we don’t have masks on, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re playing soccer and I just feel like we’ve got this big event and this is the turning point for our kids and to get our lives back to somewhat normal. I’m so happy the kids have this, I’m so happy our club was able to put it on, I’m so happy our community and businesses got to reap the economic benefits of it — it’s just a win-win for everybody involved.”
And just like they did in 2019, the hometown Timbers were able to defend their home turf.
“For a lot of us, it’s the end of our youth career, an end of an era,” said Park, who will play at Central Washington in the fall. “All these girls really love each other — it’s like a family, not just a team, and we all really respect each other as players, so it was great to end my youth career with a win and a lot of these girls’ youth careers with a win.”
Rogue Memorial Challenge
U10 —Final: Woodburn FC Penerol Jr. 7, Oregon United FC U10B 5. Third-place: Ashland Speedy Potatoes 4, NCU Mini Man U 3.
U11 — Cascade final: Pilots FC 2010B Elite 8, Coras 2010 0; third-place: AC United Inferno 10 5, NCU Toros 4. Sierra final: Lincoln FC Madrid 4, McMinnville Boys 2010 3; third-place: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT U11B Academy Red 2, Umpqua United UUSC 10B 1.
U12 — Cascade/Siskiyou final: South Tahoe FC Impact 2, Sierra Nevada FC Reno Strikers 09 0; Woodburn FC Galacticos 2, Players North 09B Premier 1; third-place: Bend Hawks 6, Basin United U12 Boys 0; Lincoln FC 09B Blue - Fuego 8, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 09B Red 0. Sierra final: Saints East 5, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 09B White 0; third-place: Oregon United FC U12B 4, NCU Vipers 0.
U13 — Cascade final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 08B Red 4, OVF Alliance USL Academy B2008 0; third-place: NCU Corning 3, North State Soccer Kaos Rebels 08 2. Siskiyou final: NWUSA B08 River 24K 4, McMinnville Boys 2008 1; third-place: Oregon Futbol Academy 08B Black 4, Ashland U13B 2.
U14 — Final: Oregon Futbol Academy 07B Black 2, Woodburn FC Bulldogs 1. Third-place: Players North 07B Premier 4, Coras 2007 2.
U15 — Finals: North State Soccer Kaos Titans 06 1, Richmond United Cougars 0; Santos FC Galacticos 1, Coras 2006 0. Third-place: OVF Alliance USL Academy B2006 4, Oregon Futbol Academy Black 06 1; Sierra Nevada FC Reno Strikers 7, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 06B White 0.
U16 — Final: MUFC Elotes FC 2, Woodburn FC Cosmos 1. Third-place: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 05B Red 3, AC United Ambush 05 1.
U17 — Final: Oregon Futbol Academy 04B 1, Diablo Valley Wolves 2004 SP 0. Third-place: Stockton Storm FC 04 Elite 3, FC Cascade Surf SC BU17 2.
U18-19 — Cascade final: Oregon United FC U18B 3, Brookings Bruins 0; third-place: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 03B Red 4, Players North 03B Premier 0. Siskiyou final: Players North 02B Premier 4, Epuerto Sports 0; third-place: NCU Chivas 2, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 03B White 0.
U10 — Final: Lincoln FC 11G Blue - Lady Pumas 8, Umpqua United UUSC 11G 0. Third-place: North state Soccer CDA 11G White 7, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT G U10 White 2.
U11 — Finals: AYSO Challengers 3, Oregon United FC 10G 0; Sierra Nevada FC Warriors 5, Carson FC Venom 0. Third-place: Ashland TNT 1, Rogue Valley Timbers RVT U11G Academy Red 0; Rogue Valley Timbers RVT U11G Academy White 4, Umpqua United UUSC 10G 1.
U12 — Final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 09G Academy Red 4, Lincoln FC 09G Blue 1. Third-place: Serra Surf 09G 2, Sierra Nevada FC Falcon Vipers 0.
U13 — Cascade final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 08G Red 1, Basin United Strikers 0; third-place: OVF Alliance Project23 G2008 3, Umpqua United UUSC 08G 1. Siskiyou final: Oregon United FC 08G Hellcats 1, NCU Fury 0; third-place: Santos FC Firecrackers 3, Woodburn FC Warriors 0.
U14 — Final: Southern Oregon 07G Blackout 3, Rayados Yuba City FC Rayaditas 1. Third-place: Nevada United 2, Ashland Avalanche 1.
U15 — Final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 07G Red 3, Oregon Futbol Academy 06G Black 0; third-place: OVF Alliance Project23 G2006 1, Umpqua United UUSC 06/07G Panthers 0.
U16-17 — Final: Woodburn FC Lightning 4, Oregon United FC Nemesis 0. Third-place: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 04G White 3, Elk Grove Soccer 04G Elite 0.
U18-19 — Cascade final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 02G Red 1, Oregon United FC U18G 0; third-place: Sequoia FC 03/04G 3, North Valley United CF 03G Premier 0. Sierra final: Rogue Valley Timbers RVT 05/06G 3, Basin United Green 0; third-place: South Tahoe FC 03/04G 2, Elk Grove Socer 03/04G 1.
Reach Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.