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Cats hit their stride vs. Beavers

Westview turns it on in the second half to race past Beaverton 4-0
by: MILES VANCE, HAPPY TIMES — Westview sophomore forward Reyes Herrera (center) celebrates his second-half goal against Beaverton with teammates B.J. Jenson (left) and Zach Calvert while Beaver defender Eric Fowler stands by Monday.

ROCK CREEK - Rhythm.

Westview's boys soccer team found its rhythm late in the first half against Beaverton last Thursday, kept its pace in the second half and raced past the Beavers 4-0 at Westview High School. The win, along with a 3-1 Monday victory over Southridge, lifted the Wildcats to 3-0 and sole possession of first place in the Metro League.

'We really started out kind of tight ... but once we loosened up and got into our flow, started to play our game, things started to click for us,' said Westview coach Jim Lekas. 'That's part of what we're building on right now with such a young group, is getting our rhythm and keeping it.'

'Once a team kind of finds that rhythm, it can get scary and they definitely started getting a little bit of a rhythm and it hurt us a little bit,' said Beaverton coach Ryan Youngblood.

'The first half, we were trying to get the feel of the other side but in the second half, we really opened up and everybody was showing and we played the ball really well on the ground,' said senior defender Zach Bradford, who scored the Wildcats' first goal against Beaverton.

Beaverton, which also lost to Sunset 1-0 in overtime Monday, was left to ponder its mistakes and plans for improvement after falling to 0-3 and a fifth-place tie.

'We had little breakdowns here and there and they exposed us and that's where they had us,' said Beaverton senior midfielder Demetri Abraham.

'Basically, what tonight showed us is where those mistakes break down, where we're going to have to fix things,' Youngblood added. 'The biggest thing that I saw was taking care of the ball better, keeping it. I think the boys recognize that as well.'

While Westview notched a handful of shots in the opening half (including a Wilver Infante blast off the crossbar with 12 minutes, 45 seconds left before halftime), Beaverton's defense and keeper Christian Boudreau kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard until just 2:50 remained in the opening period.

There, however, Westview senior Sean Pullin sent a corner kick into a crowd of players in front of the Beaverton goal, and when the ball came free at the far post, Bradford was there to knock it home with a diving header.

And Westview turned the heat up even more in the second half, notching its second goal on a bicycle kick by sophomore forward Reyes Herrera on a pass from junior Ryan Hill four minutes into the period. The Cats made it 3-0 3-1/2 minutes later when senior forward B.J. Jenson collected a deflected pass and drove a shot past Boudreau to the left post from 20 yards away.

Westview added its final goal with 26:38 remaining when Beaverton failed to clear a Pullin corner kick and sophomore forward Eric Hurtado knocked it home.

Beaverton, after not taking a shot on goal in the first half, managed two in the second half, the best of those by senior Danny Day with 31 minutes remaining, but Westview sophomore Matt Dunham was there to make the save.

'There were some unfortunate deflections that made it easy for them to score goals, but like I said, I think we just need to come together as a unit, keep the ball a little bit more, be more aggressive up top,' Abraham said. 'We'll do it. We'll be fine.'

Westview was happy with its play and position atop the Metro standings, but knew that only consistent effort would serve to keep them there. Lekas credited the efforts of Bradford, Hill, Joel Gutierrez and Zach Calvert for providing it against Beaverton.

'You've got to come out every game,' Bradford added. 'With this 6A stuff, the Metro League is tough. Every team you have to play your best or you can get beaten on any day.'

In upcoming games, Westview hosts Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) and travels to Sunset at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Beaverton hosts Southridge at 7:30 p.m. tonight and hosts Aloha at 7 p.m. Monday.