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Bowmen step up to get key win

Sherwood will host a state playoff match on Tuesday


by: DAN BROOD - BLAST OFF -- Sherwood High School senior Parker Ward gets ready to put the boot to the soccer ball in Tuesday's NWOC match with Sandy. The Bowmen scored a 1-0 victory over the Pioneers. SHERWOOD — It wasn’t exactly a pretty win.

But, for the Sherwood High School boys soccer team, it was pretty important.

The Bowmen, looking to earn one of the top eight spots in the OSAA Class 5A power rankings, scored a late goal to break a scoreless tie and get a 1-0 win over Sandy in a Northwest Oregon Conference finale played Tuesday at Sherwood High School.

“This was pretty big,” said Sherwood junior midfielder Zephaniah Hollins, who helped set up the game-winning goal. “We needed to win this.”

With the loss, Sandy finished the regular season with a 3-4 league record and an overall mark of 6-6-1.

Sherwood finished the NWOC season with a 5-2 mark, putting the Bowmen in a three-way tie with Liberty and Wilsonville for second place in the final league standings. Sherwood also upped its overall record to 8-4-2.

But, maybe more importantly, the win helped the Bowmen finish the regular season in the No. 7 spot in the final OSAA power rankings. That means that Sherwood won’t have to compete in a Class 5A play-in game and that the team will host a Class 5A state playoff match on Tuesday.

“This was critical,” Sherwood coach Monty Hawkins said of the win. “In the reality of the power rankings, it was important for us to get this win. And just enough to get it.”

The Bowmen had a scoring chance early in Tuesday’s game, but the teams ended the first half in a scoreless deadlock.

Sherwood, in addition to getting shots on goal from senior Nathan Anderson, senior Parker Ward and Hollins in the first, also got a key defensive play from senior goalie Brogan Kearlsey, who ran out and had a sliding clear of the ball right in front of Sandy freshman Christian Soto, who looked to have an open shot at the Bowmen goal.

Sherwood also had a first-half goal by Hollins nullified by and offsides call.

The defensive battle continued for most of the second half.

With 31 minutes left in the match, a volley shot by Sherwood sophomore Connor Carraher, off a cross from Anderson, was saved by Sandy goalie Nathan Miller.

With 16:05 remaining, an apparent goal by Anderson was nullified by an offsides call.

But, with 12:43, the Bowmen wouldn’t be denied.

Hollins started the scoring play when he blasted a line-drive shot at the Sandy goal from 10 yards away. Miller made a diving deflection of the shot, but the ball bounded toward Anderson, who put his follow-up shot into the back of the net to give the Bowmen a 1-0 lead.

Hollins had a quick change of emotions on the play.

“At first, I said ‘oh, no,’ when he blocked it,” Hollins said. “But then we got the goal, so that made it a lot better.”

Sherwood also seemed to take charge of the contest after the goal.

“That took the pressure off,” Hollins said.

Meanwhile, the Sherwood defense, featuring Paul, senior Zack Milligan and senior Christopher Roth, among others, stayed solid throughout, especially after taking the 1-0 lead.

“They had some threw balls,” Paul said. “We just needed to react to them. And, after we scored, it took the pressure off.”

Sandy’s last threat came with 5:06 left to play, when it got a shot on goal by junior Brody White from 17 yards out. But Ward, who played in goal for the Bowmen over the final 30 minutes, made the save to help preserve the crucial 1-0 victory.

“I think there’s a lot to be gained when you get a reality check before the playoffs while also getting a win,” Hawkins said. “I like the way this group attacks. They’re doing well and I think we’ll keep on attacking that way in the playoffs.”

Speaking of the playoffs, the Bowmen are taking high hopes into postseason play.

“We want to win state,” Hollins said. “That’s a goal.”

“We just need to keep playing hard and do what we do,” Paul said. “We need to keep playing as a team and finish our chances.”

Sherwood, if it wins its first round state playoff match on Tuesday, will advance to play in the Nov. 10 quarterfinal round.




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