Southridge's playoff run comes to a halt with a loss to Tualatin
BEAVERTON - Southridge's girls soccer team flew higher and farther than almost anyone expected that they could.
That, as much as anything, was what made Saturday's 4-1 loss to Tualatin in the Class 6A state quarterfinals so disappointing. The Skyhawks (10-6-2), after finishing fourth in the Metro League, had already beaten McKay in a 6A Play-In game, ousted West Salem in the first playoff round, then dumped North Medford in round two to reach the state quarterfinals.
And in Saturday's windy, rainy and cool conditions at Southridge High School, the Skyhawks struck first to lead the Pacific Conference champion Timberwolves 1-0. But Tualatin got the tying score before the end of the opening half, pushed ahead 2-1 with 13 minutes, 34 seconds left in the game, then added two more goals in the next 10 minutes to win 4-1.
'We scored early, which was nice, but the little mistakes added up,' said Southridge senior midfielder Mich Toews, who scored the Skyhawks' lone goal. 'We were really focused, but then they got their the first goal, we got our heads down and that kind of messed with our heads and we fell apart.'
'I definitely thought we could have beat them,' said senior forward Anisa Maza, who assisted on Toew's goal. 'I'd love to have another game with them. I think they're beatable, easily.'
Toews gave her team that early 1-0 lead when she took a cross from Maza, got her foot on it and knocked it home at the back post to make it 1-0.
'It felt good to have the first goal. It gives you confidence,' Toews said, her goal just the second Tualatin had allowed all season.
The Wolves got the equalizer before halftime, though, when senior forward Cassie Baldwin scored off an assist by Kelsey Wagner and the two teams went into the second half at 1-1.
And there was where the score stayed until Tualatin's Megan Freel sent a long pass to sophomore Jill Farley at the top left corner of the Southridge penalty box. Farley collected the ball there, turned and hammered a laser to the right corner of the goal for what turned out to be the winning score.
Tualatin senior star Anna-Marie Popma then added the insurance in the remaining minutes, first breaking between two Southridge defenders, then knocking a shot off a Skyhawk defender and in to make it 3-1 with 10:59 left to play. Popma was back in goal with 3:45 remaining, this time driving a shot into the right corner of the Southridge goal from 15 yards away.
'They had, obviously, some really strong forwards … and we knew they were going to be hard to score on because their first goal against came in the playoffs,' Toews said.
Still, the Skyhawks knew they had created something special in 2011.
'I'll just remember everyone, how we were so close, like we were a family,' Maza said.
'We came out every day in practice and worked so hard together, and we had a special bond,' Toews said. 'You don't see that very often. You could see that with us, on the field and off.'
Tualatin (17-0-0) went on to face South Salem in Tuesday's state semifinals.
To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.