Sherwood pulls away for league win
SHERWOOD — For the Sherwood High School girls soccer team, the objective was simple.
The Lady Bowmen wanted to talk more and communicate better.
Sherwood was also hoping to get off to a good start to Three Rivers League play.
Well, the Lady Bowmen ended up doing everything they wanted to do.
Sherwood, rallying from a 1-0 deficit and then coming up with a flurry of late-match goals, came away with a 4-1 win over Tigard in a Three Rivers League opening match played last Thursday at Sherwood High School.
"This was pretty important for us," said Sherwood sophomore forward Loma McNeese, who scored one of the Lady Bowmen's four goals in the victory. "It should be a confidence-builder for us. It was a good way to start league."
"We were excited to win on our home turf," said Sherwood junior midfielder Mia Stallard, who tallied a pair of goals in the victory. "We have to keep our fortress."
With the victory, the Lady Bowmen not only got off to a 1-0 start to TRL play, but they also improved to 3-2-1 on the season, to that point, with the victory.
"Our main goal tonight was communicating and talking," McNeese said.
"We got off to a rough start," Stallard said. "But our communication was good, and we got going."
With the setback, the Tigers moved to 0-1 in league play and to 1-3-2 on the season.
"Unfortunately, the score doesn't show our effort and attitude," first-year Tigard head coach Justin Holmes said. "The effort was there."
"It was a very good match," said Tigard junior Sydney Leinberger, who scored the Tiger goal. "We wanted it, and so did they. It could have gone either way. But the intensity of this match will help us take the next step."
Both teams' defenses seemed to dominate play early on in last week's TRL opener. The Sherwood defense, including junior Madi Pastores, junior Abby Eisenbeiss, junior Jenna Funk and senior Ashlyn Strohmaier, among others, and the Tigard defense, including senior Kyra Medgin, senior Alle Stroud and junior Delaney Kludt, among others, controlled play in the opening minutes.
Both goalkeepers also stepped up in the clutch.
With 31 minutes and 16 seconds left to play in the first half, Tigard junior goalkeeper Natalie Carlson came sprinting out to do a sliding block of a shot by Sherwood junior Alex Verkamp from 17 yards out. Less than three minutes later, Sherwood sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Pfisthner ran out to block an open attempt by Tigard senior Alexandra Britch from 18 yards out.
The teams remained locked in a scoreless tie for most of the first half. But, with 9:03 left to play before the intermission, Leinberger changed all that.
Leinberger, from 34 yards away, put her free-kick attempt just over Pfishner's fingertips, and just under the crossbar of the Sherwood goal, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead, and causing Leinberger to raise her arms in the air before celebrating with her Tigard teammates.
"I knew I could hit it," Leinberger said with a smile. "I was very excited. It was my first goal of the season."
Sherwood was able to answer back before the first half ended. With 2:09 remaining before the intermission, the Lady Bowmen tied the score, at 1-1, when sophomore midfielder Jillian Leroux went up high to score on a header shot from 14 yards out, coming off a corner kick by Eisenbeiss coming for the right side.
Sherwood also put some excitement into two other corner kicks in the final minute of the first half. With 38 seconds left to play, Carlson made a diving stop of a McNeese volley flick shot off a corner kick. Then, right before the halftime horn sounded, McNeese had her corner kick from the left side skim off the crossbar of the Tigard goal, leaving the teams tied at 1-1 going into the break.
The teams then remained deadlocked for most of the second half. In the opening minutes of the half, Carlson made a diving block of a hard shot by McNeese from 14 yards out. Five minutes later, Carlson made a save on an attempt by Sherwood senior midfielder Olivia Corsetti. Four minutes after that, Tigard sophomore Logan Kennedy had her shot, from 20 yards away, sail just right of the Sherwood goal.
But, with 13:58 left to play in the match, the Lady Bowmen were able to come through and break the tie.
Stallard did the damage, as she converted on a free kick shot from 34 yards away, with her long, bending shot curving inside the upper left "V" of the Tigard goal, giving Sherwood a 2-1 lead.
"I injured my right leg, so I was using my left foot," Stallard said of the goal. "I was shocked, but excited."
The Lady Bowmen then scored a pair of goals in the final minute to put the win away.
First, McNeese scored on a shot from 30 yards away, with the ball sailing just under the crossbar of the Tigard goal, upping the margin to 3-1 with 45.0 seconds left to play.
"I had enough time to get a shot on goal," McNeese said.
Then, with just 19.6 seconds remaining, Stallard, in the right place at the right time, scored on a rebound shot after a long attempt by Lady Bowmen junior forward Kolleen Peters was blocked on a dive, making the final score 4-1.
"That was all Kolleen," Stallard said of the goal. "She hit a great shot."
For the contest, the Lady Bowmen had 12 shots on goal and three corner kicks.
"We were told by our coaches to take a lot of shots," Stallard said.
"This was really fun tonight," McNeese said.
Tigard, for the contest, had three shots on goal and two corner kicks.
"I think it was our best effort of the year," Holmes said. "It was fun for awhile."
On Tuesday, Sherwood picked up a 3-0 win at Newberg and Tigard lost 3-1 at home against Lakeridge in league matches.
The Tigers and Lady Bowmen both will be back in league action today (Thursday). Sherwood will host Canby at 7 p.m. and Tigard will play at West Linn at 7:30 p.m. On Monday, Sherwood will host West Salem in a non-league match starting at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Tigard will play St. Mary's Academy in a league contest starting at 6:15 p.m. at Buckman Park. On Wednesday, Tigard will host Newberg and Sherwood will travel to Lakeridge for 7 p.m. TRL matches.