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Thorndike nets two goals in St. Mary's playoff victory

Anna Thorndike is not flashy, but she produces results for the St. Mary's girls soccer team.

The sophomore forward scored two goals to spark the Crusaders to a 4-0 victory against Riverdale of Portland in the second round of the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state playoffs Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

St. Mary's (14-1-1) will play at Valley Catholic of Beaverton, a 2-1 winner over McLoughlin, in the quarterfinal round Saturday.

After a 10-day layoff because of a first-round bye, the District 6 champion Crusaders showed some rust early. St. Mary's was dominating the action but the offense was not quite in synch.

That is until Ellie Gambee won a 50-50 ball near midfield and made a long run down the right side. Gambee played the ball into Thorndike, who faked one way and beat Riverdale goalkeeper Molly Christmann from about eight yards away.

"Anna set their goalkeeper up," said St. Mary's coach Dave Potter, "and she was helpless on this one. It was a smart finish."

The Crusaders decisively outshot the visitors in the first 40 minutes but held just a 1-0 lead.

"The girls were pressing," said Potter. "They just needed to burn some energy and develop some patience. Once they did that the whole game changed."

St. Mary's turned the slim lead into a more comfortable margin by the first 12 minutes of the second half.

Mckenzie Krieser took a feed from Abby Steinsiek and beat Christmann coming out of the goal from 12 yards away eight minutes in.

Then four minutes later, Thorndike got her second goal, with Sarah Seus assisting.

"Anna is effective, intelligent and reads what goes around her so well," said Potter. "She gets the job done."

Krieser completed the scoring at the 60th minute on an assist from junior defender Lindsey Barnum, who has come on strong after recovering from the effects of a midseason injury.

"(Barnum) was solid," said Potter. "She showed good decision making and went forward when the timing was right."

Crusader junior goalie Gina Barbieri didn't have to stop many shots but was a factor nevertheless.

"Gina handled the ball at least 25 times with her feet," said Potter. "She was important in distributing the ball. Her greatest growth has been her ability to get involved in our possession game."

Except for keeping the score too close for comfort in the first half, Potter was pleased with the way the team adjusted after intermission.

"We put it together at the right time," continued Potter. "What looked like we would escape with a close win turned into a lopsided victory."