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Tribe girls' soccer headed to state quarterfinals

Lucy Davidson and Eleanor Jones each come up with a hat-trick in the Indians' 7-1 demolishing of Cascade in the first round


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Sophomore Madison Verzino tracks down the ball in the second half of Scappoose's 7-1 win over Cascade. The Scappoose girls' soccer teams is once again headed to the state quarterfinals, following a 7-1 win over Cascade at home on Tuesday afternoon. The Indians will host No. 6 Gladstone on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 8.

Coach Nicholas Heffernan, in just his first year as head coach, said the lop-sided win wasn't because Cascade was a bad team, they were just outmatched.

“I think we made a really good team look average,” he said.

Heffernan heard from his midfielders at halftime that Cascade's midfield was the best they'd seen since the preseason when the Indians faced some of the top teams in the state. Nonetheless, Scappoose still led 3-0 at the break, and didn't let in a goal until Cascade's Mary Teubner lofted a ball over senior keeper Jessica Dykes in the 52nd minute for the Cougars' only score of the afternoon.

Other than the one miscue, it was all Tribe. Or more specifically, it was all Lucy Davidson and Elanor Jones. After senior Lexi Courtney opened up the scoring in the fifth minute, Davidson and Jones carried the offense the rest of the way. The duo combined for a hat trick apiece, an unusually unbalanced scoring effort for a team who has weapons on every square inch of the field.

Gladstone and Scappoose met once before, a 2-0 win for the Gladiators at home on Sept. 12. Since then, Heffernan says he's seen the improvement in the team to make it a fantastic match.

“Honestly, I think it's going to be a really good game. We're going to have a lot of people watch. [The] girls are prepared, they're ready, and it's going to be one of the best games for us to be playing in,” said Heffernan.

The last match up was well before the team had found their stride, according to Heffernan. The starting lineups, the rotation of players and the movement on offense had yet to be worked out, but it was still a close game. Two mistakes led to a pair of goals, and since that game, the Indians have lost only once.

For Heffernan, the string of victories is only part of the success. The other half is the ability of the team to control the ball, make quick, accurate passes and score efficiently.

“I think we're the only team in Oregon at (the 4A level) that actually plays soccer,” said Heffernan. “Everyone boots. We just play.”

Thanks to what Heffernan called “quite possibly the best midfielders in the state,” the rouse has panned out. In fact, the team has learned the system so well and so fast, that he joked about not needing to attend games, simply giving the girls a ball and letting them go to work.

There is, however, one time in the game where Heffernan will let his players “boot and run.” The first five minutes of the half, he encourages his players to focus a little less on possession and let the jitters out before buttoning down.

Once the game slows down, the Indians are downright hard to beat. A combination of defensive toughness, control of the midfield and a relentless attack up front have allowed Scappoose to outscore their opponents 60-11 in their last eleven matches.

The start time of Saturday's quarterfinal match is yet to be determined, but will likely kick off around 2 p.m. at Chinook Field. The finalized start time will be updated when the information is made available.