Crusader teams fall short in semifinals
PORTLAND — Oregon Episcopal’s Rachel Lowell scored the go-ahead goal 30 seconds into the second half as the defending Class 3A/2A/1A state champion Aardvarks downed St. Mary’s, 2-0, Tuesday to advance to the girls soccer state championship match.
Annika Lovestrand added the insurance goal during the 64th minute of the semifinal contest for top-seeded Oregon Episcopal (15-2).
Fifth-seeded St. Mary’s, the District 5 champion, finished the season 14-3-1. The Crusaders and Aardvarks have met in the semis five times in the last six years, with OES taking the last four meetings.
Lowell tallied after a deflection off the far post for the Aardvarks, who have won nine straight.
The shutout loss was just the second of the year for St. Mary’s, which had fallen to North Bend, 1-0, on Sept. 2.
The Crusaders outshot OES, 6-4, and had a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.
For St. Mary’s, MaryBeth Barnum kept the pressure on the Aardvark defense while being heavily marked.
Ibixia Alvarez played strong defense on scoring standout Mikaelah McKinney-Griggs, and the Crusader backline of Sabrina Miller, Maddie Wheelock and Meghan Michels helped limit OES opportunities, along with Allie Buccino in front of them.
The Aardvarks will play No. 2 Catlin Gabel in the finals Saturday at Liberty High. Catlin Gable beat Westside Christian, 1-0.
OREGON EPISCOPAL 4, ST. MARY’S 0: At Portland, St. Mary’s was dominated in the Class 3A/2A/1A state semifinal.
Jonathan Dugoni had two goals for second-seeded Oregon Episcopal, which led 3-0 22 minutes into the match. The Aardvarks held a 3-0 advantage at halftime.
Junior Ryan Trask turned in a strong effort in goal for the No. 3 Crusaders (15-3), who had a 15-match winning streak snapped. He made 10 saves for the District 5 champions.
Rowan Berridge and Abe Asher also scored for OES (15-2-1), which will play Portland Adventist Academy Saturday in the finals. Portland Adventist defeated Delphian, 2-0.
The Aardvarks have won the last two state titles.
St. Mary’s was without starting defender Luka Cvijanovic, who was injured.