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Soccer: Woodburn girls playoff bound

Win against Corvallis on Tuesday would guarantee homefield advantage in play-in round


by: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn junior Alyssa Castro celebrates her first-half goal in the Bulldogs 1-1 draw against Crescent Valley Oct. 22.The Woodburn girls soccer team entered this season with a goal of getting back to the playoffs after finishing last year on the outside looking in.

While a 3-0 loss against West Albany Thursday dropped the Bulldogs to fourth place in the Mid-Willamette Conference, Woodburn is firmly in the 2013 postseason playoffs and fighting for homefield advantage in the play-in round on the eve of their final regular season game against Corvallis that was scheduled for Tuesday.

“We have clinched a berth,” said coach Carlos Menezes. “At this point, we would like to stay top 16 and have the play-in game at home.”

The Bulldogs (7-5-1, 3-2-1 Mid-Willamette) are currently ranked 15th in the most recent OSAA standings.

A win against the No. 7 Spartans (6-5-2, 5-1) would lift Woodburn to somewhere in the 11-to-15 range, said Menezes, while a loss could drop the team below 16th.

Play-in teams ranked ninth through 16th are awarded homefield advantage in the opening games of the post-season, and Menezes would like his team to earn that honor after securing a winning record this season.

“We are confident we can do well,” he said. “We are getting some girls that were hurt last week back, and that will give us more speed, which we usually lack.”

Menezes believes that with a fully healthy roster, his girls are one of the best teams in the state.?The Bulldogs have been able to contend with a deep Mid-Willamette conference that could potentially qualify seven of eight teams into the post-season this year.

Still, the team has been performing particularly well as of late, going 4-2-1 since Sept. 25, despite last week’s loss to West Albany and a 1-1 draw against Crescent Valley Oct. 22.

Go to www.woodburnindependent.com for play-in scheduling details.