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One goal is enough for Tualatin


The Wolves score a win over Sheldon in the quarterfinals

TUALATIN — The 1-0 final score did not indicate the sheer dominance the Tualatin High School girls soccer team held over Sheldon Saturday night.

It also did not indicate the sheer amount of terror that had to be pumping through Timberwolves in the last 10 minutes of the Oregon Schools Activities Association Class 6A state quarterfinals match played at Tualatin High School.

“We played well as a team,” Timberwolves coach Kale’ Dwight said. “I’m very proud of these girls. They did great. We came together as a team. These girls are awesome.”by: JONATHAN HOUSE - STAYING STRONG -- Tualatin sophomore Corinne Togiai (right) goes up above Sheldon's Mary Jane Ervingto get her head on the ball during Saturday's Class 6A state semifinal match. The Wolves won 1-0.

Throughout the first 70 minutes of the match, the Timberwolves were brilliant. The stat line is mind boggling. Tualatin had 26 shots and put 11 balls on frame. Tualatin also worked to earn eight corner kicks over the course of the match and did not give up a single corner to Sheldon.

The Timberwolves took advantage of a corner kick in the 36th minute. Senior Lauren Helmreich lined up for a corner kick on the right side. She sent a beautiful ball into the box. It bounced off a Sheldon defender and to Corinne Togiai. The sophomore played the ball off her chest, took it to the ground and fired, sending into the back of the net, to the right post.

“It came off the corner from Lauren,” Togiai said. “It ricocheted off one of their players. It just popped to my chest. I settled it and came down and followed it into the bottom right.”

The goal was Togiai’s fourth in Tualatin’s first three postseason matches.

After the goal, the Timberwolves continued trying to force the issue. They controlled almost all of the possession and peppered the Sheldon goal with shot after shot. Tualatin could not get another ball into the back of the net, though.

“They had a great keeper who had some fantastic saves,” Dwight said.

That set up an extremely tense 10 minutes at the end of the match. From the 70th minute on, it appeared as though Sheldon finally found its rhythm. For the first time all evening, the Irish were able to string passes together and move the ball up the pitch with harmony.

After taking one shot through the first 70 minutes, the Irish got off five shots as they match drew to a close.

“We kept together at the end and had to keep fighting through it,” Tualatin sophomore goalkeeper Emily Leonard said. “We kept fighting for it.”

With the match on death’s doorstep, Sheldon nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. With just 30 seconds remaining in the match, Sheldon put its first shot on frame of the night. Leonard was there to smother it, though, and send Sheldon into the State semifinals.

“You’ve got to keep the end goal in mind,” Leonard said. “Trying to get that win, you’ve got to keep it in mind and not focus on the crowd or anything.”

The win improved Tualatin to 12-3-2 on the season and set the Timberwolves up to face Jesuit in Tuesday’s semifinal round (see related story).

Sheldon, the No. 2 team out of Special District 2, finished its season with a final record of 12-4-2.