Sherwood boys shut out Century
Boys soccer -- The Bowmen will host Parkrose in a playoff tilt Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
HILLSBORO - The ability to score has never been in question for the Sherwood boys soccer team.
Keeping other teams from doing the same was.
So while Tuesday's game against Century had little bearing on its playoff positioning, the Bowmen still took plenty out of their final Northwest Conference match, posting a shutout in a 3-0 victory at Brown Middle School.
Sherwood put nearly 20 shots on goal and kept the Jaguars from doing the same, limiting them to just five shots (one on goal) in finishing the regular season at 8-6-0. The Bowmen earned the No. 2 seed out of their division with a 6-4-0 record. They play Parkrose, the No. 3 seed from the other division, in the first round of the conference playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Sherwood.
The Bowmen have shown improvement throughout the season and won six of their last eight games with one of those losses coming in double overtime to division champion Hillsboro (12-1, 9-1) last Thursday.
'That shows any day we can hang with any team,' Sherwood coach Dave Austin said. 'The boys battle hard. Against weaker teams we've taken care of business and we're competing in games against better teams.'
The former was the case Tuesday as the Bowmen handled Century (5-8, 2-8) in a game that could've been more lopsided if not for some near misses.
Sherwood scored the only goal it needed 21 minutes into the first half. Senior forward Nate Hickok controlled the ball near the end line before sending a short cross in to sophomore TJ Bacewich for a one-timer over the goalkeeper, off the bottom of the cross bar and into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
'I got around a guy and he put it in the right spot and I put it in,' Bacewich said. 'I knew I was going to go near post. I hit it and it went up above the keeper's arms.'
When he wasn't creating opportunities, Hickok had plenty of his own in the first half when the Bowmen took 19 shots and put 13 on goal. Hickok made a run down the right side and fired a shot that carried wide of the far post in the 23rd minute.
Moments later, sophomore midfielder Kameron Beeks sent a pass ahead to Hickok, who raced past his defender and fired a shot that was deflected into the air and grabbed by Century goalkeeper Coleman Cookston.
In the 26th minute, Beeks and Hickok had a 2-on-1 advantage with Beeks beating the charging keeper with a nice touch to Hickok, but his shot on the empty net from 10 yards out went wide of the right post.
'It was rough,' Hickok said. 'I took so many opportunities and couldn't put one in. I started to press to score. I didn't force things, but I was trying to make up for it.'
Hickok, who has scored four goals in a game twice this season, finally did 27 minutes into the second half to give Sherwood a 2-0 lead. He took a pass from sophomore Tim Shultze near midfield and made a long run down the middle, staying ahead of the chasing defender. Hickok faked right, then cut left and fired a shot past the keeper from 12 out.
'Finally got one in the second half. That felt good,' Hickok said. 'They keep feeding me the ball and I'm faster then a lot of guys.'
Century managed just two shots in the second half and only one on goal. That came in the 25th minute from 12 yards out, but Sherwood goalkeeper Quinn Hess was there for the save, going to the ground to smother the ball.
Sherwood tacked on an insurance goal with four minutes left. Shultze passed into the middle to sophomore Kyle Smurdon, who booted a hard shot from 20 yards out that deflected off a Jaguars defender's foot, carried over the reach of Cookston and into the top netting for a 3-0 lead.
'The team vibe is definitely up, especially after beating Wilsonville and the Hillsboro game,' Bacewich said. 'We come out hard and try to win. We're going to try to go further than we've usually have before.'