by: DAN BROOD - STRONG DEFENSE -- Sherwood senior Charlie Paul heads the ball away from the goal during Tuesday's state playoff match.SHERWOOD — Unfortunately for the Sherwood High School boys soccer team, close doesn't close.

The Bowmen, trying to put goals on the scoreboard against a strong Cleveland squad, seemed to suffer through close call after close call.

And, with those close calls not going its way, Sherwood fell 4-1 to the Warriors in a Class 5A state playoff first-round match played Tuesday at Sherwood High School.

"We just had a hard time finishing our chances,” Sherwood junior midfielder Alex Castaneda said after the match. “We just couldn't put them away.”

With the win, Cleveland, which shared the Portland Interscholastic League championship, improved to 7-4-5 on the season. The Warriors also advance to play in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. Cleveland will travel to Summit of Bend for a state playoff quarterfinal match on Saturday.

Sherwood, which tied for second place in the Northwest Oregon Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 8-5-2.

“The season started a little rough. We played some tough teams early on,” Castaneda said. “But then we got in the flow of things. It was a fun season. We had a close team.”

"They did great this year,” Sherwood coach Monty Hawkins said. “I thought we had a dynamic attacking team that was fun to watch.”

The Bowmen tried to attack in the early going of Tuesday's state playoff match, getting a header shot on goal by senior Nathan Anderson in the first five minutes of the DAN BROOD - ON THE ATTACK -- Sherwood senior Nathan Anderson drives the ball up field during the Bowmen's state playoff match with Cleveland.

But it was Cleveland who struck first. The Warriors took a 1-0 lead when junior Mudy Abdikadir scored from 20 yards out off an assist from junior Mohamed Abdikadir coming with 28 minutes and 23 seconds left in the first half.

Soon after that, Sherwood had to suffer through some close calls. With 25:54 remaining in the first half, Sherwood senior Charlie Paul had a header shot off a corner kick by Anderson sail just barely over the crossbar of the Cleveland goal.

Then, with 10:01 left in the half, Sherwood junior Zephaniah Hollins had what looked to be a potential goal with his hard-hit ground shot from 15 yards out. But Cleveland junior goalkeeper Hubie Charman, diving to his left, was able to reach out and slap the shot away.

The Warriors then upped their lead to 2-0 with 5:40 left in the half when senior Cameron Craig scored on a follow-up shot after an attempt by Mudy Abdikadir was blocked on a dive by Sherwood senior keeper Parker Ward.

Cleveland kept its 2-0 lead throughout the rest of the first half.

The Bowmen kept coming close in the opening minutes of the second half. Sherwood sophomore Connor Carraher had a close-range running shot blocked to a corner kick by Charman with 36:52 left I the contest.

Just a minute later, Carraher had a close-range volley shot said just barely over the crossbar.

However, Sherwood was able to break through after Hollins was fouled in the penalty box with 24:01 left in the match. Anderson put the ensuing penalty kick into the left side of the Warrior goal to trim the Cleveland lead to 2-1.

But the Bowmen wouldn't be able to get the equalizer.

Meanwhile, Cleveland got a goal from junior Adrien Baures with 14:36 left to play to up the Warrior lead to 3-1. Craig then scored his second goal of the match with 8:37 remaining to make the final score 4-1.

“Everyone worked hard,” Castaneda said.

“We played with a lot of heart and courage,” Hawkins said. “We didn't sit back.”

The loss marked the final high school match for Sherwood seniors Brogan Kearsley, Chris Roth, Connor Duppenthaler, Anderson, Moran Masley, Jonah Angus, Ward, Roman Bukur, Paul and Zach Milligan.

The Bowmen should return some key players in 2013.

“I'm already looking forward to next year,” Castaneda said.

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