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Timberwolves clear quarterfinal hurdle

Girls soccer: Tualatin pulls away in the second half to get a 4-1 win over Southridge
by: Miles vance WE'RE WINNING — Tualatin senior Megan Freel (11) congratulates Anna-Marie Pompa following one of Popma's two goals in the Wolves' quarterfinal win at Southridge.

BEAVERTON - The past two seasons, the Tualatin High School girls soccer team found its season end prior to semifinal round of the state playoffs.

The Timberwolves were determined not to let that happen again this year.

They didn't even let an early 1-0 deficit deter them.

Tualatin stormed into the semifinals for the first time since 2008 by scoring a 4-1 win over Southridge in a Class 6A state playoff quarterfinal match played Saturday at Southridge High School.

'It was a good win,' Tualatin junior defender Mollie Freel said. 'We're doing great and we're excited to be going this far.'

'I think we had a mental hurdle with the quarterfinals. We were kind of stuck there,' Tualatin coach Rossano Rocha said. 'We've got to get back to what this program has accomplished in 2005 and 2006.'

Tualatin, the top team from the Pacific Conference, improved to 17-0 with the win.

'We knew we could do it,' Freel said.

Still, Tualatin found itself facing a 1-0 deficit after Southridge got a first-half goal by senior Mich Toews.

'They took advantage of the one opportunity they had,' Rocha said.

Tualatin came back to tie match at 1-1 before halftime on a goal by senior Cassie Baldwin, who continued her last-season scoring tear.

'She has really stepped up big,' Rocha said.

Junior midfielder Kelsey Wagner had the assist on Baldwin's goal.

The Timberwolves got the go-ahead goal with 13 minutes and 34 seconds left in the match after sophomore Jill Farley scored off an assist from senior Megan Freel, giving Tualatin a 2-1 lead.

Senior Anna-Marie Popma, in her second game back after she suffered a broken collarbone earlier in the season, added a pair of late goals to wrap up the 4-1 victory. The two goals gives Popma, whose return this season following the injury was in doubt, her 99 in her career at Tualatin, putting her all alone atop the school's all-time scoring list.

'The team pulled together as unit,' Rocha said. 'We were ready to make a run without her. Now that she's back, things are even better.'

'We were really pumped up in the second half,' Mollie Freel said.