Soccer: North Marion boys will host Ridgeview for play-in round


by: PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion forward Abner Carrillo fights past a Molalla defender in a 3-3 draw against the Indians earlier in the season. Despite finishing behind Molalla in the conference standings, the Huskies enter the post season ranked higher in the OSAA rankings due a tougher schedule and better resume of games.With the Huskies’ 4-1 victory over Gladstone Tuesday night, the boys soccer team finished the regular season as one of the top-seeded teams entering Saturday’s play-in round.

North Marion (8-2-4, 5-2-3 Tri-Valley) was eighth in the final OSAA rankings, finishing third in the Tri-Valley Conference this year behind league foes La Salle and Molalla. The team’s final ranking gives the Huskies the second seed in the play-in round and an advantageous home match against the No. 26-ranked Ridgeview Ravens (6-4-4, 4-3-3 Special District 1).

The Huskies have built an impressive resume over the course of the 2013 season. North Marion’s only losses of the season have come in a pair of 1-0 league games against the No. 4 La Salle Falcons (10-3-1, 8-1-1).

The team went 3-0-1 against a difficult non-conference schedule that featured four playoff teams from the 4A and 5A. In total, 10 of North Marion’s 14 games this season have come against play-in teams, helping to boost the team above Molalla in the final rankings despite finishing below the Indians in the Tri-Valley standings.

The Huskies’ competition in the play-in round – the Ravens of Ridgeview High School – boasts a winning record, but has played a much weaker schedule than North Marion. The Ravens’ six victories have come against teams that have a combined record of 12-65, including three wins against winless Crook County, Redmond and La Pine. Ridgeview has played closely in two losses to Summit, the No. 2-ranked team in the 5A, but the team has still gone winless against every team they’ve faced with a record above .500.

North Marion and Ridgeview have played one common opponent in Madras. The Ravens lost to the White Buffaloes 3-1 in September. The Huskies played to a 1-1 draw in their first game against Madras before scoring a 2-0 victory a month later to win the season series against their conference foe.

The winner of Saturday’s game will qualify for the 16-team OSAA tournament and will be placed in the playoff bracket according to their OSAA ranking.

The game starts at noon at North Marion High School.