Southridge hopes to continue as giant-killer on Saturday vs. Cats

BEAVERTON - The only way to beat a Metro League boys soccer team in the playoffs, it seems, is with another Metro League boys soccer team.

Southridge proved that point in a big way Tuesday night, upsetting fifth-ranked Beaverton 2-0 at Beaverton High School in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. For Southridge, the fifth-place finisher in league, the win lifted its season record to 8-7-1 and sent the Skyhawks on to the state quarterfinals. There, Southridge will host Metro runner-up Westview (13-2-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

'We knew that this was a group of guys that had a lot of capability and talent,' said Southridge senior midfielder Sam Albert. 'At the beginning of the season, we had a bit of a rough patch in league, but we wanted to peak in the playoffs and that's what we're doing right now.'

Southridge 2, Beaverton 0

BEAVERTON - Beaverton held the upper hand against Southridge during the regular season, winning 3-1 and 2-1 in the teams' two meetings.

But on Tuesday, with their playoff lives on the line, the Skyhawks stepped up to win 2-0.

'I'm very happy. It was a big game,' said Southridge senior midfielder Bertrand Lambert, who scored his team's first goal on Tuesday. 'I'm very proud of all our players. It's a good feeling.'

'Our coach told us 'Third time's the charm,'' Albert said. 'The last two times we played them really tough, and we knew we had a chance if we came out here and just gutted it out and that's what we did.'

Beaverton, meanwhile, saw its season end at 11-5-1 after a fourth-place Metro finish, a result that left the senior-heavy Beavers greatly disappointed as they tried to repeat last year's run to the state championship game.

'Sophomore year, we went to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Junior year, we got to the state final,' said Galan, a senior defender. 'And then this year, we didn't going as far, as we wanted, or as far as our fans expected us.'

'We didn't come out how we should have,' said senior forward Maynor Escalante. 'But I'll remember the progress that we made last year - we made it all the way to the finals. First time in 25 years - that's my greatest memory for Beaverton soccer.'

After a 0-0 tie in the first half, Southridge broke through when Lambert headed home a long feed from senior Cody Burchfield, scoring at the right post to make it 1-0 with 24 minutes, 46 seconds left in the game.

Beaverton rallied with two great scoring chances in the next five minutes, but neither came to fruition. The first of those came when senior Nick Lewis took a Galan pass and hammered a rocket just over the Southridge goal with 22:50 left to play. The second of those opportunities came when Lewis sent a corner kick into the Southridge penalty box and Galan headed it back to his right past Southridge keeper Joe Khalil, but Albert stepped in to clear the ball, prevent the goal and keep the score at 1-0.

Then, with 2:24 to go, Southridge senior midfielder Shawheen Peiravani ended all suspense when he won the ball in a scramble in front of the Beaverton goal, dribbled once to his right and drove it into the right corner of the goal for the final 2-0 margin.

'We haven't been this far in years,' Albert said. 'It means a lot to us and our coach, and we're going to try and make a run.'

Southridge 2, South Salem 1

BEAVERTON - Southridge was down, but definitely not out in its state playoff opener on Saturday.

The Skyhawks saw South Salem break through to lead 1-0 in the 25th minute, but hardly blinked. Southridge got the equalizer with 10 minutes left in the half by a cross from the endline by Peiravani that Lambert finished for the goal.

The score was still 1-1 at halftime, and still 1-1 until just 12:29 remained in the contest. But there, Burchfield played a long free kick from midfield to the right-center edge of the Saxons' penalty box. Albert took flight, flicked the ball backward past the South Salem defense and keeper and on into the right corner of the net for the win.

Beaverton 1, Redmond 0

BEAVERTON - One was the magic number for Beaverton in its state playoff opener against Redmond.

The Beavers got that 'one' - the game's lone goal - 15 minutes into the contest and rode that edge to victory over the Panthers at Beaverton High School. Redmond, the fourth-place team from Special District 1, ended its season at 5-10-1.

Beaverton came out in a rush Saturday, pounding out seven shots in the game's first 15 minutes and getting the game winner when Escalante crossed the ball into the Redmond penalty box. Teammate Seth Temple, a sophomore midfielder, was there at the far post with a great strike on goal to put the Beavers up 1-0.

Redmond stepped up after that, though, started to put together some possession and created a few opportunities at goal, but none came to fruition. Likewise, the Beavers had a handful of chances in the remaining time, but couldn't convert on their opportunities and settled for the 1-0 decision.

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