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Skyhawks edge past Aloha 2-1

Southridge hopes its win will add momentum for its Metro stretch run
by: Miles Vance UP AND OVER — Southridge’s Sam Albert — trailed by Aloha’s Edgar Rivera and Juan Ramirez — chips a shot over the Warrior keeper for a goal on Monday.

BEAVERTON - Southridge's boys soccer team did just about everything right on Monday night.

The Skyhawks, hosting Aloha in a Metro League game at Southridge High School, dominated possession, outshot the Warriors big-time in both halves, and scored twice in the first 30 minutes to lead 2-0.

That said, Southridge very nearly walked away with less than the victory it earned in its 2-1 win over the Warriors. The Skyhawks gave up two penalty kicks in the game, saw Aloha convert one, then held on down the stretch to escape with a one-goal victory.

The win lifted Southridge's record to 2-5 in Metro League play (6-5 overall) and snapped a four-game losing streak in the process.

'I think this gives us motivation. We're going into the next game confident,' said Southridge senior Shawheen Peiravani, who scored the game-winning goal on a free kick with 9 minutes, 54 seconds left in the first half. 'This win gives us confidence because we weren't doing too well and this game is kind of pumping us back up.'

'It was close,' admitted Southridge senior goalkeeper Joseph Khalil. 'I'm more scared for these kind of games. These are the games where they have nothing to lose.'

Aloha's boys meanwhile, fell to 0-7 in Metro play (2-8-1 overall) but left focused on the games still remaining in their 2011 campaign.

'We just need to learn to work better off the ball with each other and keep possession and just get ready for the Play-In game,' said Aloha senior midfielder Kyle Chang. 'I think, toward the end of the year, we can come back and put some (games) away.'

Southridge saw an apparent Peiravani goal waived off due to an offside call 13 minutes into Monday's match, but the Skyhawks made sure they broke on top first nonetheless.

Southridge senior midfielder Sam Albert made sure of that when he took a high bouncing pass at the top of the Aloha penalty box, broke past Warrior defenders Edgar Rivera and Juan Ramirez, then chipped the ball over charging Warrior keeper Jorge Rodriguez and into the goal with 17:39 to go before halftime.

The Skyhawks were back in goal just 7:45 later, this time with Peiravani hammering a free kick from 28 yards past Rodriguez to the left corner of the Aloha goal for a 2-0 advantage.

Peiravani had other chances too, with one shot blocked by Rodriguez midway through the half and a second free kick - from almost the identical spot as his goal - that missed high with 8:50 to go in the period.

Aloha began to put some things together late in the half, its first scoring chance coming when Chang was fouled in the Southridge penalty box and awarded a penalty kick. But that opportunity went by the boards when Khalil dove to his right and blocked the attempt with 3:07 left in the half.

Chang had another great chance just two minutes later when he took a centering pass from Christian Wood, got behind the Hawks' defensive line and hammered a hard shot at the goal. But Khalil blocked it, dropped it, then covered it to preserve the 2-0 lead.

There were more fireworks in the second half too. Peiravani had a one-on-one opportunity smothered by Rodriguez 14 minutes into the half, teammate David Peterson missed high from just 5 yards out of goal midway through the half, and Albert missed just wide on a chance to redirect a Peiravani cross with 20 minutes remaining.

Aloha kept charging too, and earned a second penalty kick with 21:28 left in the game, this time when Wood was taken down in the Southridge box. Wood made sure this one got home, striking a hard shot toward the left post that the diving Khalil touched but couldn't stop.

And there, at 2-1 is where the score stayed the rest of the way, despite a dangerous cross from Aloha's Grant Kristensen that set up a miss from Ryan Murphy with 12:30 to play, and a Kristensen corner kick with one minute remaining.

'We had a two-goal lead and we thought we were safe,' Peiravani said. 'The final moments were intense.'

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