by: DAN BROOD - VICTORY -- Sherwood's (from left) Jessica Imbrie, Tear'sa Krieger, Sarah Garoutte and Mikayla Howes celebrate following the Lady Bowmen' 1-0 state playoff win over Wilson on Tuesday. SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School girls soccer team was looking to take its first postseason step toward defending its Class 5A state championship.

As it turned out, it wasn’t an easy step to take, but it turned out to be a successful one.

The Lady Bowmen battled their way past a persistent Wilson squad to score a 1-0 win over the Trojans in a Class 5A state playoff first-round match played Tuesday at Sherwood High School.

“It was important to start off strong,” said Sherwood senior Jessica Imbrie, who had the assist on the only goal of the match. “I’m proud of the team and how we played.”

Wilson, the No. 1 team out of the Portland Interscholastic League, finished its season with a final overall record of 9-5-1.

Sherwood, the No. 2 team from the Northwest Oregon Conference, improved to 12-1-2 on the season. The Lady Bowmen also advance to host a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal match on Saturday. Sherwood will face Putnam in a quarterfinal contest starting at 2 DAN BROOD - HIT IT UP -- Sherwood senior Carley Mills (front) heads the ball upward in front of Wilson junior Ellen Berkley during the Lady Bowmen's 1-0 state playoff win.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Sherwood sophomore Sarah Garoutte, who scored the only goal in Tuesday’s match. “We’ll have to work even harder and keep up our intensity.”

The Lady Bowmen and Wilson both seem to have their intensity at a high level in Tuesday’s playoff match.

Sherwood had a scoring opportunity in the early going, but a shot by Garoutte off a corner kick was stopped by Wilson goalkeeper Olivia Wallace.

Garoutte had a couple more shots on goal in the first half, and Lady Bowmen junior Kai Morgan also had a shot on goal. But Sherwood couldn’t get on the scoreboard in the first 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Lady Bowmen defense, featuring senior Annie Govig, senior Michaela Pilkenton, Tear’sa Krieger and senior Natalie Thomas, among others, kept the Trojans off the scoreboard in the first half.

But, once the second half started, it didn’t take the Lady Bowmen long to break the scoreless tie.

With 36 minutes and 41 seconds left in the match, Imbrie, from the left side of the field, fired a pinpoint pass to Garoutte, who was 12 yards in front of the Wilson goal. Garoutte then rifled a shot into the right side of the net, giving the Lady Bowmen a 1-0 lead.

“Jess hit a great pass and got the ball through,” Garoutte said. “And then I just hit it.”

From there, the Sherwood defense took over.

With 23:14 remaining, Govig cleared the ball away from Wilson senior Amy Welter, who was driving toward the Lady Bowmen goal.

With 14:47 let to play, Sherwood senior goalkeeper Kyeli Hendryx punched away a Wilson cross from the right side of the field.

Finally, with 5:07 remaining in the match, and with Sherwood still clinging to its 1-0 lead, Hendryx made a leaping save of a free-kick shot on goal by Wilson senior Larissa Bygazova, helping to wrap up the one-goal victory.

“Wilson is a really good team,” Sherwood coach Bill Brown said. “But we have kids who play with a lot of heart and who just don’t quit. And, the bottom line is that we got the win.”

“We knew we had to win,” Imbrie said. “This was different from league. It was a lot more aggressive.”

Sherwood outshot Wilson by a 13-4 margin in the win.

Putnam, the Lady Bowmen’s NWOC rival, brings an overall record of 9-3-2 into Saturday’s state quarterfinal match-up. The teams met earlier in the season, with Sherwood posting a 5-1 win over the Kingsmen in a league match played Oct. 4 at Sherwood High School.

The winner of Saturday’s game at Sherwood will meet either Willamette or Bend Tuesday in the semifinal round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Sherwood, if it wins its quarterfinal match with Putnam on Saturday, would be home for a semifinal match-up with Bend. The Lady Bowmen would have to play at Willamette if that turns out to be the semifinal contest.

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