Crusaders upend No. 2 seed
LAKE OSWEGO — It took a win over the No. 2 team in the Class 3A/2A/1A state power rankings, but the St. Mary's boys soccer team has finally earned the right to host a playoff game.
And it couldn't come at a better time.
Harrison Leep scored with his left foot from 20 yards out in the 25th minute and Poncho Acuna tacked on an exclamation point score in the final seconds as No. 6 St. Mary's eliminated Riverdale 2-0 Saturday in the state quarterfinals at Lake Oswego High School.
The victory earns St. Mary's its first home match of the postseason Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Community Park, with the winner of that match advancing to the state championship game. The Crusaders (11-2-2) will face Dayton (13-3-2), an 8-0 winner over Creswell on Saturday.
"We went up against a team with six starting seniors and basically outplayed them," St. Mary's head coach Paul Coughlin said. "I'm very proud of our boys."
Leep scored what Coughlin called the junior midfielder's most impressive goal of the season to give the Crusaders the lead for good. After corralling the loose ball, Leep used his weaker foot to drive the ball across the mouth of the goal and just inside the far post.
The spectacular finish held up, though Coughlin expected a flurry by the Mavericks in the second half.
"Halftime almost always favors the losing team because they tend to come out very hard, and we were prepared for that," Coughlin said. "They got the ball in our half and they had opportunities, but it wasn't what I thought might happen."
Instead, it was the Crusaders who kept the pressure on, nearly breaking the game open several times.
"We had some very good penetration into the other team's box, but just one small little touch on the ball from a defender took away some great opportunities for us," Coughlin said.
That is, until Acuna struck in the final moments. With time winding down and the Mavericks in desperation mode, the junior forward/midfielder took control of the ball 40 yards from the goal and drove all the way before beating the keeper in the box.
"He played it so well," Coughlin said.
Class 4A Boys
STAYTON 2, PHOENIX 1 — Javier Topete scored twice to lead Stayton to the Class 4A quarterfinal victory at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Topete scored from 6 yards out after a crossing pass into the box in the 15th minute to give Stayton (15-1), No. 5 in the 4A power rankings, a 1-0 lead at halftime. The sophomore struck again in the 53rd minute with a 10-yard shot to the far post.
Phoenix (11-5), fourth in the power rankings, finally broke through in the 76th minute on a goal by Jalisco Macias but couldn't net the equalizer in the waning minutes.
Roberto Cook made seven saves for the Pirates.
HIDDEN VALLEY 2, NORTH MARION 1, SO — At Murphy, as the ninth kicker in a sudden death shootout, freshman Thomas Fate calmly kicked in the winning goal to rally Hidden Valley past North Marion in the quarterfinals.
The second-ranked Mustangs (16-1) will host third-ranked Madras in Tuesday's semifinals.
After a scoreless overtime period and 4-4 tie in the shootout, Hidden Valley and North Marion matched goals in sudden death until the Huskies' ninth kicker missed, setting the stage for Fate's goal.
On a set-up from Mitch Matheny, the Mustangs' Robin Klimczak knotted the score 1-all in the 44th minute.
Class 4A Girls
MAZAMA 2, HIDDEN VALLEY 1, OT — At Klamath Falls, Mazama scored late in regulation to tie the match, then netted the game-winner with seven minutes remaining in overtime to advance into the state semifinals.
Midfielder Maria Dominguez tallied the decisive goal from 20 yards out about three minutes into the second 10-minute overtime period. Hidden Valley claimed the ball went over the bar but the referee disallowed the protest.
The Mustangs (15-3), the Skyline Conference champion, led 1-0 at halftime on Rachelle Flick's goal in the 35th minute. Cedar Wilkening delivered a pass from the wing and Flick knocked in a long-range shot.
The Vikings (13-2-1) tied the match in the 72nd minute when Tiffany Taylor scored after a deflection by Mustangs sophomore goalie Morgan Hansen.
GLADSTONE 2, HENLEY 1 — At Gladstone, Henley tied the score with eight minutes left in regulation, but top-ranked Gladstone nailed the game-winner moments later to upend the ninth-ranked Hornets in the quarterfinals.
Alysa Castle's goal tied the game in the 72nd minute on a pass from Allie Sahner, but Gladstone's Haleigh Murrell answered four minutes later.
Amber Jensen scored in the 22nd minute for the Gladiators.
Class 3A/2A/1A Girls
ST. MARY'S 6, HORIZON CHRISTIAN 0 — Mackenzie Krieser registered a hat trick and assisted on another goal to lead St. Mary's to a quarterfinal win in its playoff opener at U.S. Cellular.
Anna Thorndike opened the scoring in the 11th minute off an assist from Krieser, then the duo exchanged roles five minutes later. Krieser picked off an errant pass by the goalkeeper and laced another shot into the goal in the 20th minute.
Deema Said's goal off an Emma Anderson assist helped the top-ranked Crusaders (14-0-1) to a 4-0 halftime advantage.
Krieser scored her third goal in the 43rd minute and Thorndike capped the scoring when she curled in a corner kick in the 48th minute. Gina Barbieri used a point-blank save to preserve the shutout in goal.
ROGUE RIVER 1, WESTERN MENNONITE 0 — At Rogue River, Kendra Milligan salvaged a dominant, yet off-target game for Rogue River in the quarterfinals.
The Chieftains (14-2) will host Catlin Gabel in Tuesday's semifinals.
The Chieftains had 11 shots on goal in the first half but never connected until Milligan broke through with a goal in the 42nd minute on a pass from Jessa Fricke.
Goalkeeper Brittany Coulter stopped all four shots by the Pioneers, including two in the final 10 minutes.