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Ashland's Hedges best in SSC

There was little question which girls soccer team was the deepest this season in the Southern Sky Conference.

That team was conference-champion Ashland, and the Grizzlies accounted for six of the 13 recently announced SSC first-team selections, which included the conference's player of the year in senior defender MacKenzie Hedges and co-coach of the year Eric Wolff.

"We had the most talented team this year," Wolff said. "It was nice to get that recognition from the coaches."

Despite being a force defensively, Hedges still managed to score two goals and assist on two others. She logged the most minutes for the Grizzlies in each of her four years as a varsity member.

"She has this force field around her," Wolff said of Hedges. "No one could really challenge us up the middle."

Hedges teamed with first-team senior goalkeeper Catie Pratt to produce eight shutouts in the regular season. Ashland surrendered just three goals the entire SSC season, two coming on free kicks and another on a 30-yard shot.

Other first-team selections included senior midfielder Molly McGraw, who led the Grizzlies' offense with eight goals and five assists, senior defender Emily Warnke-Crary and sophomore midfielders Chloe Deckwar and Carolyn Thomas. Deckwar had four goals and four assists, and the versatile Thomas had three goals and five assists.

Ashland finished 7-1 in the SSC and fell to Bend in a third-round playoff game. Bend faces Sherwood in the Class 5A championship match today in Hillsboro.

Crater senior forward Aime Wingler and senior midfielder Sadie Barlow were named to the first team.

The speedy Wingler had a team-high 15 goals while Barlow, the catalyst of the team according to Crater head coach Ed Lindbloom, had two goals and seven assists.

The Comets finished 7-1 in the conference but took second after a one-game playoff against Ashland to decide the league title. Crater fell in its playoff opener to Summit.

Eagle Point also had two representatives on the first team with sophomore midfielder Erica Rasor and senior defender Kelsie VanVeghel. Rasor had 13 goals and two assists this season for the Eagles, the third-place team in the conference.