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Falcon coeds soar in the playoffs

Advance to semis with convincing wins over Seaside and Philomath


by: JOHN DENNY - The athletes on La Salle Preps girls soccer team have proven themselves without question one of the top Class 4A high school girls soccer teams in the state this fall. They finished first in the highly competitive Tri-Valley Conference, unseating four-time defending league champion and two-time defending state champion Gladstone. And, with playoffs wins last week over Seaside and Philomath, they earned themselves a spot in the Class 4A semifinals. Pictured are members of the standout team: (front row, left to right) Courtney Crain, Rachael Gottsch, Yesenia Higuera, Joslynn Bigelow, MKaila Karcsay and Sydney Chvilicek: (second row) coach Alle MacLeod, Elise Nebels, Kate Christoferson, Natalie Stone, Tori Goodman, Veronica Horton, Claire Primack, Rachel Primack and head coach Ryan Cereghino; (third row) coach Lauren Strand, Cede Simonis, Talya Holenstein, Keegan Storlie, Bailey Higgins, Aleah Goodman, Regan Russell and coach Anne Braghero: and (not pictured) Grace Foren-Self.The La Salle Falcons are playing their best soccer of the season as the 2013 high school girls soccer season winds down.

The Tri-Valley Conference champion Falcons were impressive in state playoff games last week, winning 2-1 at second-ranked Philomath in Friday’s quarterfinals, after dropping tenth-ranked Seaside 4-0 in the Nov. 5 first round.

Saturday’s win at Philomath advanced the seventh-ranked Falcons (13-3-0) to the semifinals for the first time since 2007. They were scheduled to meet third-ranked Scappoose (10-3-0) in a Nov. 12 semifinal game at Scappoose, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final at Liberty High School, against the winner of a semifinal between fourth-ranked North Bend (14-1-1) and top-ranked La Grande (15-0-0). Scappoose defeated Gladstone 2-1 on Saturday, knocking the two-time defending state champions out of postseason play.

La Salle coeds last played in a state final in 2000, when they finished runner-up to Catlin-Gabel.

“The team is excited to get this far and see what they can do,” said La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino. “They’re confident but not cocky. They feel good about the way they are playing right now.”

The Falcons were in command most of the way in Friday’s quarterfinal at Philomath, holding the Warriors scoreless until the final minute of play.

Regan Russell put the Falcons on board 25 minutes into the game, running onto a cross from Aleah Goodman and tapping the ball into the net from close range.

Courtney Crain made it 2-0 near the midpoint of the second half, running onto a through ball from Bailey Higgins and putting the ball away from 15 yards out.

Cereghino said the Warriors finished with an 11-8 edge in shots, but many of their shots were fired high or wide of the net. He said that his Falcons had a 6-3 advantage in shots on-frame.

Cereghino praised senior goalkeeper Sydney Chvilicek: “Sydney had an incredible game. It was a wide field and they got a lot of crosses in on us. But Sydney did a great job of stepping into those crosses, and having very sure hands.”

Cereghino added, “Courtney Crain and Tori Goodman did a great job on the wings, marking up on defense and pushing forward on attacks....

“And our defensive unit, Talya [Holenstein], Joslynn [Bigelow], Natalie [Stone] and Yosi [Higuera], did a tremendous job communicating and supporting one another.”

It was only the second loss of the season for the Warriors (13-2-0), who had won 13 games in a row, after losing 3-1 to Oregon Episcopal in their first game of the 2013 season.

Falcons gun down

the Seagulls 4-0

La Salle was in great form on Nov. 5. The 4-0 win over the Seaside Seagulls was the Falcons’ tenth shutout in their last twelve games.

Coach Cereghino had his side with a 16-2 advantage in shots, as the Falcons dominated the game from start to finish. Senior keeper Sydney Chvilicek had to make just one save.

“The girls played well,” Cereghino said.

The Falcon soccer boss singled out junior midfielder Veronica Horton for an exceptional game.

“Veronica put herself in position to create multiple chances for us,” he said. “She was involved directly or indirectly in three of our four goals.”

Cereghino also had praise for sophomore forward Regan Russell and freshmen midfielders Bailey Higgins and Keegan Storlie:

“Regan got us started with her goal in the ninth minute. She applied pressure all night and did a good job for us up front.... Bailey and Keegan did a good job controlling and winning the midfield battle all night long.”

Aggressive play by Russell and two of her teammates led to Russell’s early goal.

“Veronica put in a cross that was bobbled,” Cereghino said. “Claire Primack applied pressure. The goalie punched the ball out, but it found Regan in the center of the 18, and she calmly finished the ball into the top of the goal.”

The Falcons added three more goals after the halftime break, on shots by Higgins, Horton and freshman Aleah Goodman.

Higgins’ and Horton’s goals both came off of corner kicks from Tori Goodman.

Cereghino described Goodman’s goal: “The ball was crossed in by Veronica; Keegan gathered it in and laid off to Aleah at the top of the box; Aleah shot first-time and it found the far side of the netting.”



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