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No. 29 Beaverton doesnt back down in its 6A soccer playoff

TIGARD — It wasn't all shutouts and three-goal blowouts for the Beaverton girls soccer team this year.

Indeed, the youthful Beavers took their lumps in the ever-competitive Metro League. But when the playoffs finally arrived, Beaverton showed that it had learned the hard lessons of 2012 and benefitted from them.by: DAN BROOD - IN THE PLAYOFFS - Beaverton sophomore Maddy Johnson tries to control the ball during her team's Saturday state playoff loss at Tigard.

First, the Beavers — who finished fifth in the six-team Metro race — pummeled McNary 7-0 in the 6A Play-In game. Then, facing Tigard in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Saturday, Beaverton gave the Tigers everything they wanted and more.

Beaverton rallied from a 1-0 deficit, forged a tie late in the first half and pushed Tigard into overtime before finally falling 2-1 at Tigard High School. The loss ended the Beavers' season at 6-8-2, while the Tigers — the second-place finishers in the Pacific Conference — improved to 11-1-3 and advanced to meet North Medford in Tuesday's second round.

“The girls never gave up and could hold their heads high as they walked off the field without any regrets that they played as hard as they could,” said Beaverton coach Brittni Estep-Carmichael.

The fourth-ranked Tigers started fast on Saturday, breaking through for the day's first goal just 8:47 into the game when junior Emilee Cincotta scored from 13 yards away off an assist from junior Kyla Smart.

Beaverton, ranked No. 29 in the state, jolted awake by that early goal, began to compete after that. The Beavers held their own the rest of the half, then tied the score at 1-1 when sophomore Inca Gunter dribbled by Tigard freshman goalie Larysa Cleaver, and then shot past Tigard freshman defender Madison Bickel for the goal with 2:58 to go in the half.

“We came out flat (but) then we woke up and started to play when Inca Gunter scored in the end of the first half to tie up the game,” Estep-Carmichael said.

The two teams battled through a scoreless second half, with the Beavers competing much better than they had at the start of the contest and rolling on into overtime. Tigard won a couple corner kicks and turned them into dangerous chances in the first half of overtime, but Beaver keeper Kylee Coon and her defense were up to the challenge each time.

The Beavers had a strong scoring chance of their own in the second half of OT — a far post miss off a long throw-in, but Tigard got the game winner with 9:22 left to play when Cincotta scored from 25 yards out from the left side, with her shot going just inside the right post.

“With the team being so young, it was a great introduction to playoffs and what it takes to make a run and stay physically and mentally healthy throughout the league and into state playoffs,” Estep-Carmichael said.

Dan Brood contributed to this report.

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