The Apollos close in on second place after a 2-0 win over Southridge
by: Miles Vance JOUST — Sunset’s Emmy Owens (left) and Southridge’s Ariel Kanable battle for the ball during the Apollos’ 2-0 win at Southridge High School on Sept. 29.

BEAVERTON - The Sunset girls soccer team is on the move.

After opening Metro League play with a 1-0 loss to defending Class 6A state champion Jesuit, the Apollos have gone 2-0-1 and climbed within a point of second place. Included in that run were Sunset's 2-0 win at Southridge on Sept. 29 and a 1-1 tie at Westview on Monday. The Skyhawks are currently third in league at 2-1-1 and 5-1-1 overall.

'We're working through a lot of injuries so it's been hard, but we've been working really hard in practice and it's paid off,' said Sunset junior defender Mary Grace Roselli, who scored her team's second goal against Southridge.

'We've been working really hard at practices and just playing how we play,' agreed senior midfielder Alicia Alarcon, who assisted on both her team's goals against the Skyhawks.

Southridge, meanwhile, came back strong on Tuesday to challenge Jesuit before falling 3-2. The loss left the Skyhawks tied for fourth place with Beaverton at 1-2-1 in league and at 4-2-1 overall.

Tonight's game 'was really close,' said Southridge senior midfielder Kaitlynn Durham. 'We just have to come out and work hard from beginning to end.'

'Unfortunately, we were on our heels tonight,' added senior midfielder Ariel Kanable. 'We weren't completely ready for them, but hopefully we'll be ready for them next time.'

Sunset was the team that was more ready last week, though, breaking through to get the game's first goal when Alarcon took the ball down the right side, then served it across the middle to senior forward Ashley Engesether for the finish and a 1-0 lead.

The Apollos carried that lead into the half, but added to it just 13 minutes into the second period. There, Alarcon made a great pass in traffic to Roselli 15 yards out of the Skyhawk goal. Roselli controlled the ball, turned and drove a hard shot to the upper right corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Sunset's defense did the rest, turning away scoring chances by Lauren Vincent and Kanable midway through the half, then not allowing another shot on goal the rest of the way. Alarcon very nearly added a third goal when she drilled a hard shot just wide of the next with 10:20 left in the contest, but Sunset was happy enough to walk off with its 2-0 win.

'I think we did really well as defending as a team,' Roselli said.

For their part, the Skyhawks left determined to get better and convinced that they would.

'When we hit our feet, we're unstoppable,' Durham said. 'We just have to connect and work together.'

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