Viking soccer with a Sherwood flare
Amanda Dutra, Michelle Hlasnik and Daniela Solis are together again, playing at Portland State
PORTLAND - Amanda Dutra, Michelle Hlasnik and Daniela Solis have played soccer together before.
In fact, the terrific trio helped lead the Sherwood High School girls soccer team to the 2007 Class 5A state championship.
Now, they're all back together again.
They're real happy about that.
And they're also hoping to work their Lady Bowmen magic once more - at a higher level.
Dutra, Hlasnik and Solis are looking for big things this season as they take the field, together, for the Portland State University women's soccer team.
'This is a lot of fun,' Dutra said following Portland State's practice Tuesday morning at the Stott Community Field. 'It really helps having all of us here. We've been together so long.'
Dutra was the senior leader for the Lady Bowmen team that downed Bend 1-0 in the 2007 state championship game. She also was first of the three to commit to play soccer at Portland State.
'It was the right place for me,' she said. 'It was close to home and my uncle and parents could watch me play.'
However, Dutra's Viking debut was delayed a year. She missed the 2008 season due to a knee injury.
But, in 2009, as a redshirt freshman, Dutra made a sparkling impact for the Portland State team. Playing in the midfield for the Vikings, Dutra had one goal and five assists while earning second-team All-Big Sky Conference honors.
Also in the 2009 season, Dutra was joined by Hlasnik on the Viking squad.
'Portland State fit me best,' said Hlasnik, who plays on defense and in the midfield at PSU. 'And I really like the coaches and the girls.'
Hlasnik started 10 matches and tallied four assists during her freshman season, where she was voted the Vikings' most improved player.
Together, Dutra and Hlasnik helped Portland State claim the 2009 Big Sky Conference championship.
'That was a good feeling,' Hlasnik said with a smile.
In 2010, Dutra and Hlasnik continued to find success on the pitch.
Hlasnik started 18 matches, mainly playing in the back line.
Dutra had two goals and four assists in 2010.
She was promoted to team captain by the end of the season and she again was a second-team All-Big Sky Conference pick.
But something was missing. The Vikings could use one more former Lady Bowmen.
Her former teammates felt that Solis - who was coming off an outstanding four-year high school career at Sherwood in addition to playing for Mexico in the 2010 U17 World Cup - would be a perfect fit on the PSU team.
'We brought her here,' Dutra said with a laugh.
'They had a huge impact,' Solis added with a smile. 'And it's close to home and my family can support me here.'
Solis will play at forward for Portland State this year, giving the Vikings a Lady Bowmen up front, in the middle and on defense.
And the Sherwood trio seems to shine with hometown pride when talking about that.
'I still bleed Bowmen colors,' Solis said.
And there's still talk of the 2007 state championship, where Solis, then a Lady Bowmen freshman, scored the only goal of the match.
'I watched film of that not too long ago,' Solis said. 'I get goosebumps every time I see it.'
'I was talking about it after we won the Big Sky championship,' Dutra said. 'I showed everyone my Sherwood championship ring and my Big Sky championship ring.'
Now, for Solis, it's time to adjust to Division I college soccer. And she can turn to her former Sherwood teammates for advice.
'They tell me to always work hard,' Solis said.
'If she doesn't, we'll be on her,' Dutra said with a laugh.
'There's a lot more intensity,' Hlasnik said of playing at the college level. 'And it takes a lot more hard work.'
'It's definitely competitive,' Dutra said. 'Every practice is like a tryout.'
'I usually didn't sweat this much after a high school practice,' Solis said.
Portland State dropped its first two matches of the season during a Utah roadtrip last week, but Solis made a memorable debut.
She scored her first collegiate goal of her career, putting in a header off an assist from senior Etsy Geiger in the 15th minute of the Vikings' season-opening match at Utah Valley on Friday.
She got the goal despite the fact that she suffered an injury during warm-ups.
'I couldn't celebrate after the goal because I was hurting so bad,' she said. 'It was a good cross and I just put it in.'
Solis' goal gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead at that point, but they ended up losing 4-2.
They also fell 2-1 at Utah State on Sunday. But, despite the losses, optimism is still high.
'We had a rough start, but we had glimpses of good things,' Dutra said. 'When we're on, we're really on.'
'I really like our team,' Hlasnik said. 'The best part is meeting all the girls and making new friends.'
And the Portland State roster is loaded with local players, including Tigard High School graduate Amanda Howie.
'It's nice having all the local players,' Dutra said. 'There is one Canadian (senior midfielder Kala Renard) and she livens things up.'
But the motivated Portland State team wants to do more than just have fun and make new friends this season.
'We feel like Portland State is overlooked,' Dutra said. 'We really want to get to the NCAA tournament this year. I think we can do it.'
The Vikings will be looking to pick up their first win of the season Friday when they host UNLV in a match starting at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
Portland State will also host Idaho Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
'We're hoping to get more fans from Sherwood out there,' Dutra said.
And, if those fans show up, they'll not only get a chance to watch a bit of Lady Bowmen history, but they'll also get to see what could be a bright Portland State future - a bright future featuring a Sherwood's terrific trio.