Soccer: Bulldog boys earn top seed for 5A playoffs


by: PHIL HAWKINS - Eric Diaz and the rest of the No. 1 Bulldogs await the results of Saturdays play-in games to determine who the team will play in the first round of the 5A state tournament Tuesday.The Woodburn boys soccer team earned the top seed in the 5A playoffs after finishing the 2013 regular season atop the OSAA rankings.

The No. 1 Bulldogs earned a bye through the play-in round of the playoffs and will have home field advantage throughout the tournament. Woodburn awaits the results of Saturday’s play-in games that will determine their opponent in the first round of the tournament, scheduled for Tuesday.

The play-in games pit the teams ranked ninth through 24th against each other, with the winners advancing to join the top eight teams in the 16-team tournament bracket.

With Woodburn’s top ranking comes the advantage of playing against the lowest-ranked team to advance out of the play-in round.

Woodburn (11-1-2, 7-0 Mid-Willamette) earned their top seed after playing one of the most difficult pre-season schedules in the state that included a 1-1 draw against No. 2 Summit and the team’s first loss in years against 6A power Hillsboro.

The Bulldogs cruised through their conference schedule, sweeping the Mid-Willamette for the fourth consecutive year. Woodburn shut out seven opponents this year and limited league opponents to just three goals in seven games.