Boys soccer: Pair of postseason wins move Sherwood to the state quarterfinal round
by: DAN BROOD SUPER SCORER — Sherwood junior Nathan Anderson scored three goals in the win over Benson. It was his 10th straight match with at least one goal.

SHERWOOD - Peaking at the right time can definitely be a good thing.

And the Sherwood High School boys soccer team certainly seems to be peaking - and the right time is the start of postseason play.

The Bowmen opened its postseason schedule by powering to a 4-1 victory over Benson in a Class 5A play-in match held Saturday at Sherwood High School.

'We did pretty good,' said Bowmen junior Zach Milligan. 'We're playing better than we did in the regular season. I think we took it to another level.'

'We knew we had to come out strong,' added Sherwood junior forward Nathan Anderson, who had three goals in the victory, marking the 10th straight match he's scored at least one goal.

Benson, the No. 5 team out of the Portland Interscholastic League, finished its season with a final overall record of 4-8-1.

Sherwood, the No. 2 team out of the Northwest Oregon Conference, improved to 10-3-2 on the season at that point with the victory. The Bowmen also advanced to play at Hermiston Tuesday in a Class 5A state playoff first-round match.

'We took care of business,' Sherwood coach Monte Hawkins said after the win over Benson. 'We trained hard this week and were a little fatigued. But were able to get a lot of kids some playing time. That was good.'

Sherwood put the pressure on early in Saturday's match with the Techmen. Among the early attempts by the Bowmen was a shot on goal by Milligan, coming off a pass from senior Anton Laine, with Benson goalie Daniel Alba making the save on a leap.

But Sherwood, and Anderson, were soon able to break through. Anderson getting his foot on the ball on a high, bouncing pass near the goal, scored on a shot from six yards out to give the Bowmen a 1-0 lead with 22 minutes and 46 seconds left in the first half.

Anderson and Milligan teamed up for the next Bowmen goal. With 6:50 left before halftime, Milligan let loose with a throw-in from the right sideline near the Benson goal. The long, high throw-in hit the turf, bounced up over some Benson defender, and went to Anderson, who skied upward to hit a header shot, sending the ball into the net to give the Bowmen a 2-0 lead.

'That was lucky,' Milligan said with a laugh when describing the play.

'He found me,' Anderson added.

The Bowmen, who took the 2-0 advantage to halftime, added two more goals in the second half.

Sherwood senior forward Dane Anderson gave the Bowmen a 3-0 lead when, after taking a pass from junior Parker Ward, he drilled a hard shot from 20 yards out, with the ball deflecting off the inside of the left post and hitting the back of the net with 29:36 left to play in the match.

Less than four minutes later, Nathan Anderson completed his hat trick, scoring on a driving shot into the left side of the Benson goal to up the margin to 4-0 with 25:50 remaining.

Sophomore Zephaniah Hollins came close to tallying another goal for the Bowmen, as his high shot from 30 yards out was tipped over the crossbar by a leaping Alba.

Benson got the scoreboard when sophomore Miguel Robollo put in a shot from 15 yards out on the right side with 2:19 left to play, making the final score 4-1.

'The kids have incentive to keep things going,' Hawkins said. 'They played well.'

Sherwood had 12 shots on goal and 12 corner kicks in the match. The Bowmen defense, including senior Max Lierow, junior Conner Duppenthaler and junior Christopher Ross, among others, limited Benson to just two shots on goal.

'I think we did good on defense,' Milligan said.

'The defense was strong the whole game,' Nathan Anderson said.

In Tuesday's match at Hermiston, the Bowmen came away with a 1-0 win to advance to the quarterfinals.

Nathan Anderson scored the only goal of the match, coming on a free kick shot from just beyond the top of the box in the 60th minute.

Sherwood will be back in action Saturday when it plays Cleveland in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal match starting at 3 p.m. at Cleveland High School.

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