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GIRLS SOCCER: One-two punch boosts St. Mary's

St. Mary’s found the right combination in the first round of the Class 3A/2A/1A girls soccer playoffs.

Again.

Ryker Rothfus recorded a hat trick, and Sophia Dobry teamed up with her twice for assists as the Crusaders, the No. 2 seed, defeated Dayton, the 15th seed, 3-1 at U.S. Cellular Community Park Tuesday.

“They’ve been working pretty well together,” said first-year St. Mary’s coach Martin Nelson.

The Crusaders, 11-3 overall, move on to the quarterfinals, where they’ll host Portland Christian Saturday at U.S. Cellular. The seventh-seeded Lions (13-3-1) knocked off No. 10 Pleasant Hill, 2-1.

St. Mary’s, a semifinalist last season, benefited from the teamwork between Rothfus and Dobry nearly from the outset, the former taking a through ball, getting by her defender and finishing.

Rothfus is a sophomore and Dobry a junior. They began clicking about midseason, said Nelson.

“Once they realized they have that give-and-go and that they can do that around just about any defense, it’s been good for them,” he said. “They both have a really good work ethic.”

Dobry is a former cross country runner and “is always going,” said Nelson. “She’s got an engine, which is really nice.”

St. Mary’s second goal came just four minutes after the first. Estella Olson took a shot that was deflected, and Rothfus corralled it and scored.

Dayton (6-7-4) narrowed the gap when, in the 26th minute, Keiley Myers got loose for a goal.

The score stayed there until the 78th, when Rothfus and Dobry worked another combination.

Nelson was pleased with the defense, particularly how it rebounded in the second half after letting its guard down on the Pirates’ goal, he said.

“They came back and said, we can’t allow this to happen,” said the coach. “I mentioned to them at halftime that when you get to the playoffs, especially, any team can win on the right day. Are you going to stay on, or are you going to shut off for five minutes? If you shut off, you’re going to get scored on.”

“I want to give them a little shout-out,” he added, “for the way they closed everything out because Dayton definitely came at us pretty hard.”

The key for St. Mary’s going forward is showing up and playing its game, said Nelson. The results usually will be in the Crusaders’ favor, he added.

“The first 10 minutes, we showed up and it showed with two goals,” said Nelson. “If we consistently do that, we’ll keep finding some stuff.”

Class 5A

WEST ALBANY 4, ASHLAND 1: At Albany, West Albany got untracked with a couple howtizer shots late in the first half and captured the Class 5A first-round game.

Ashland, the 11th seed, ended the season with a 7-6-2 record.

West Albany, seeded sixth, is 9-3-1 and will next face the Hood River Valley-Wilsonville winner in the quarterfinals.

Ashland struck first with a goal in the opening minute. Mary Wilson booted a long free kick, and it was flicked by Ini Hammond to Mya Holzshu, who deposited the ball in the goal.

For the first 30 minutes, the Grizzlies were in control, said coach Eric Wolff. Then the Bulldogs charged back.

West Albany’s first threatening shot was in the 35th minute, a long free kick that squeezed into the upper corner of the goal to knot the score.

Only a minute later, the Bulldogs converted after another long free kick bounced around in the box. West Albany emerged with possession and a quick score.

The host made it 3-1 in the 53rd, then tallied again on a counterattack in the waning minutes despite valiant play by Grizzlies senior goalkeeper Nina Munson as Ashland focused on offense.

Class 3A/2A/1A

RIVERSIDE 2, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 1, OT: At Boardman, eighth-seeded Riverside scored in the first overtime period and made the goal stand up to edge ninth-seeded Cascade Christian in the first round of the 3A/2A/1A state playoffs.

The Challengers ended their season with a 9-4-2 record. Riverside (12-2-2) advanced to the quarterfinals against the Umatilla-Catlin Gabel winner.

The Pirates scored late in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods, with Pacheco Marisol firing a high shot from the side that found the goal.

Riverside clamped down on defense the rest of the way to limit Cascade Christian’s opportunities.

The Challengers took the lead in the 37th minute, when Katie Erno’s long-distance offering cleared the Riverside keeper. Hannah Krug assisted.

The Pirates tied it in the 43rd on an unassisted goal by Echevarría Valeria.

Krug in the midfield and Braelyn Day at sweeper played well for Cascade Christian, as did teammates Autumn Murray, a freshman, and team leader Bryton Plankenhorn, who recently returned injury.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSt Mary’s Ryker Rothfus works the past Dayton’s Aillin Gonzalez during the 1st half.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune St Mary’s Ryker Rothfus takes a shot for the 2nd goal during the 1st half.