Cats are a scoring machine
- Miles Vance
- Beaverton Valley Times - Sports
The Wildcats run wild in two playoff wins, head on to the quarterfinals
There's a lot of work to be done, but right now, it looks like no one can stop the Westview boys soccer team.
The Wildcats, Metro League runners-up, have put together back-to-back dominating performances in the Class 6A state playoffs, hammering Canby 6-1 in Saturday's first round, then wiping out North Medford 8-0 in Tuesday's second round.
'I think the way we're playing now, our chemistry's just peaking,' said Westview senior forward Jaime Velasco, who has six goals in the Wildcats' two wins. 'I don't think anybody's going to be able to stop us.'
'We'll just keep it going, keep doing it the rest of the season,' added senior midfielder Jesse DeLeon, who has four goals in Westview's two playoff wins. 'I think everybody's heard enough of us. They're scared already. Everybody's scared of us.'
Those wins lifted Westview's season record to 13-2-1 and sent the Cats on to a quarterfinal match-up at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Southridge. The Skyhawks (8-7-1) finished fifth in league play, and knocked off Beaverton 2-0 on Tuesday night to win their quarterfinal berth.
Westview 8, North Medford 0
ROCK CREEK - The Wildcats' scoring machine hit high gear on Tuesday.
Hosting North Medford in the second round of the state playoffs, Westview blasted out to a 3-0 first-half lead, then poured across five more in the second to overwhelm the Black Tornado. North Medford, the second-place finisher from the Southern Oregon Conference, ended its season at 10-5-0.
'It's basically just high pressure,' Velasco explained. 'It's high pressure, they lose the ball up there, we get the ball back and it's easy for us to score.'
'The boys are incredible up front,' Westview coach Tom Lathrop said. 'They like playing with each other. They're great goal-scoring kids, and it's all clicking right now.'
Senior Jordan VanBaest started the scoring parade six minutes into the match, DeLeon came through next with a long shot assisted by Declan Hopkins, and Velasco made it 3-0 at the half when he took a great feed from Gustavo Gonzalez and scored.
Things just kept rolling in the second half, with Velasco beating a Tornado defender up the endline and scoring past the keeper three minutes in, and DeLeon connected on a free kick seven minutes later to make it 5-0.
VanBaest set up Velasco for the Cats' next goal with a great cross midway through the half, Danny Segovia headed home a rebound when Gonzalez's shot ricocheted off the crossbar, and Velasco tacked on the capper with six seconds left after collecting a deflection in front of the Tornado goal.
'We're just keeping what we're doing,' DeLeon said. 'We just tell our midfield to just play our attacking (style) - that's where we're strong.'
Westview 6, Canby 1
ROCK CREEK - Off and running.
The Westview boys soccer team made its 2011 state playoff debut a winner on Saturday, cruising past Canby 6-1 at Westview High School in the first round of the playoffs.
'The boys were of one mind for this game,' Lathrop said. 'We wanted to open the playoffs with a strong statement about our intentions.'
Mission accomplished. The Wildcats powered to a 4-1 lead in the first half, then almost matched that effort in the second half to win going away.
DeLeon opened the scoring within the first 10 minutes of Saturday's game, but there was much more to come. Gonzalez, a junior midfielder, and Velasco both connected to make it 3-1, and Gonzalez struck again for a 4-1 edge at the half.
In the second half, it was Velasco and DeLeon again scoring for the final 6-1 margin.
'The team followed coaching instructions and executed when they needed to,' Lathrop said. 'It was a far cry from perfect, but it definitely showed we have a very potent offense when we're in the mood.'
Canby, the fourth-place team from the Three Rivers League, ended its year at 4-7-4.
To see complete photo galleries for this team, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.