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One goal is enough to lift Apollos to victory

Alexann Bibo scores to help Sunset beat Southridge 1-0 on Monday


CEDAR MILL — There wasn’t hardly a dime’s worth of difference between the Sunset and Southridge girls soccer teams on Monday.

But the little bit of difference that there was made all the difference in the world.

Sunset sophomore midfielder Alexann Bibo’s score near the end of the first half gave the Apollos a 1-0 win at Sunset High School and lifted the team into a first-place tie with Jesuit in Metro League play at 1-0-1 (3-2-1 overall).

IN A CROWD - Sunset goalkeeper Taylor Luty (in orange) splits through a crowd of players to punch the ball away after a Southridge corner kick during the Apollos 1-0 Monday win at Sunset High School.

“We definitely (needed to win) with the tie last week,” said Sunset junior defender Taylor Coon. “We needed to step it up.”

“Coming back from last year, we’ve got to step it up and try and get back to where we were and finish it off by winning,” Bibo said, referring to the Apollos’ runner-up finish in the 2011 Class 6A state playoffs.

Southridge, meanwhile, fell to 1-1-0 (2-4-0) and a third-place tie with Westview and Beaverton.

“It’s a good sign about what’s to come and how well we can play,” said Southridge junior defender Meridith Greer. “It’s just about finishing opportunities.”

“We were truly playing our hardest,” added junior midfielder Hayley DeBois. “We thought we were going to get one in.”

The Apollos and Skyhawks took turns controlling the game in Monday’s first half, and each team created two solid scoring chances in the first 40 minutes. Southridge had the first of those when Greer took a free kick from the top of the Sunset penalty box midway through the half; the ball bounced past a Sunset defender and Skyhawk senior Tayler Clark ran onto the ball and took a shot that missed just wide left.

Another Greer free kick started Southridge’s next scoring chance with 14 minutes left in the half. This one came from the left side of the field outside the Apollo penalty box and wound up with sophomore Makenna Bell for another strong shot that missed just left of goal.

Sunset had an early chance to get on the scoreboard when Mary Grace Roselli made a steal near midfield with 26 minutes left in the half, broke past the Southridge back line and struck a hard shot that was just tipped away by Skyhawk keeper Brenna Berry.

But the Apollos wouldn’t be stopped on their next chance, though. With 3:30 remaining in the opening half, Coon looped a pass toward the left side of the Southridge goal from the top of the penalty box. Bibo was at the other end of that pass, among a crowd of teammates and Southridge defenders, and worked her way onto the ball and deflected it into the goal off her shin guard.

“Taylor kicked it over and I saw it was out in the open so I just ran through it hoping it would go in and it did,” Bibo said of her second goal of the season. “It felt good to get the ball in the back of the net.”

Clark very nearly tied the game in the final seconds of the half when Apollo keeper Taylor Luty failed to cover the ball near the right side of the goal and Clark missed wide right after racing on to the loose ball.

Both teams worked to control the ball more regularly in the second half, and that focus on possession cut down the scoring chances for both teams, though Southridge created three solid shots in the game’s final 15 minutes.

Andie Giles started the first of those with a corner kick that Maddie Misi headed and Luty saved with 15 minutes to play. The next came when Kayla Coleman sent a cross to Dayna Carlson at the far post for a shot that slid just left with 5:50 to go on the clock.

And the Skyhawks’ final solid chance came with three minutes remaining when Southridge won the ball off a Sunset goal kick, then sent a long entry pass to Clark for a volley that Luty dove to stop.

“We played so much better in the second half,” Coon said. Coach Ben Durano “gave us a good talk about how we needed to play it on the ground instead of just playing boot ball the whole time and it paid off.”

“We had the ball more than they did (in the first half), but by the second half, we got tired, the other team bumped it up and it was just a lot tougher for competition,” DeBois said. “They were hitting us harder. It was kind of frustrating by the end.”

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

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.