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Keeping things exciting


Tigard picks up a pair of thrilling state playoff wins

by: DAN BROOD - WE DID IT -- Tigard junior Emilee Cincotta celebrates following the Tigers' overtime win over Beaverton.TIGARD — The Tigard High School girls soccer team sure seems to have a flair for excitement.

And, maybe more importantly, the Tigers are showing a knack for getting big wins.

They’ve put those two elements together in the Class 6A state playoffs.

Tigard has moved to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs after getting an overtime victory over Beaverton and a come-from-behind win against North Medford.

“It’s been pretty exciting,” Tigard coach Paul Slover said. “The girls have played well.”

“Oh yeah, that was exciting,” Tigard junior Emilee Cincotta said following the Tigers’ 2-1 overtime victory over Beaverton in a first-round state playoff match held Saturday at Tigard High School. “It was even more stressful than exciting. But we never give up.”

“That’s the best thing about our team,” Tigard junior Kyla Smart added.by: DAN BROOD - KEEPING IT -- Tigard sophomore Rachel Simmons (right) keeps the ball away from Beaverton's Kelly Priest in Saturday's playoff match.

Tigard, with its two playoff wins, improved to 12-1-3 on the season. The Tigers will next be in action Saturday when they host Lakeridge in a state playoff quarterfinal match set to start at 5 p.m. at Tigard High School.

Lakeridge, the Three Rivers League champion, is 11-4-1 on the season.

“Hopefully, the girls will respond,” Slover said.

That certainly hasn’t been a problem so far for the Tigers in the playoffs — starting with Saturday’s first-round battle with Beaverton.

Tigard got off to a fast start in that contest, getting shots on goal from Cincotta and junior midfielder Erin Graham in the first eight minutes of the contest.

The Tigers then took a 1-0 lead when Cincotta scored from 13 yards away off an assist from Smart coming with 31 minutes and 13 seconds left in the first half.

Beaverton came back to tie the match at 1-1 when sophomore forward Inca Gunter scored on a drive to the goal with 2:58 remaining in the first half.

Tigard, trying to regain the lead, went on the attack in the second half. Cincotta had a pair of shots on goal in the first 18 minutes of the half. With 18:15 remaining, a running header shot by Tigard freshman Natalie Bryant was saved by Beaverton junior goalie Kylee Coon. Soon after, a running shot by Tiger senior Elizabeth Flores sailed just wide right of the goal.

Tigard had two other close calls in regulation play.

With 13:54 remaining, Tiger sophomore Rachel Simmons hit a hard shot from 30 yards away that batted over the crossbar by a leaping Coon. Then, with just 5:01 left to play, a shot by Graham clanged off the crossbar of the Beaverton goal — leaving the teams tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation play, and sending the contest to overtime.

Neither team was able to generate a prime scoring opportunity in the first of two 10-minute overtime sessions.

But, less than a minute into the second OT session, the Tigers struck.

Cincotta, after taking a pass from Smart, drilled a ground shot from 25 yards away inside the right post of the Beaverton goal, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead with 9:22 left to play in overtime.

“That was a great pass,” Cincotta said. “I was lucky to get it in.”

Beaverton had one last opportunity, but Tigard freshman Larysa Cleaver batted away a shot by Beaverton junior Allie Mueller with 2:02 left to help preserve the 2-1 victory.

“It was intense,” Smart said. “It was a little frustrating because we could have scored more.”

“We made it interesting,” Slover said. “But I was really happy with how the girls played to the end, and it really paid off.”

Beaverton, the No. 5 team out of the Metro League, finished the season with a final overall record of 6-8-2.

Tigard had to come from behind, twice, to get a 3-2 win over North Medford in Tuesday’s second round match played at Tigard High School.

“It was tough,” Slover said. “North Medford was physical and aggressive, and they were ready to play.”

North Medford took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Hailey Folsom coming 10 minutes into the contest.

Tigard timed the match 15 minutes later on a goal by Smart.

The teams ended the first half still tied at 1-1.

But the Black Tornado regained the lead, at 2-1 when Amanda Hisey scored seven minutes into the second half.

Tigard answered back when Bryant, after taking a through ball, scored about 10 minutes later to tie things up at 2-2.

Cincotta then scored the game-winner in the 64th minute of the contest.

“She’s been the difference,” Slover said.

North Medford, the Southern Oregon Conference champion, finished its season with a 10-5 overall record.

The winner of Saturday’s Lakeridge-Tigard quarterfinal game will meet either Clackamas or Sunset in a state playoff semifinal game on Tuesday.

Tigard if it advances to the semifinals, would have to play at either Clackamas or Sunset.