The 20th-seeded Forest Grove Vikings could not pull off a second straight road upset, but they gave the 4th-seeded Cleveland Warriors all they could handle before succumbing 2-1 in the second round of the OSAA 6A Girls Soccer Tournament.
The Warriors won their 12th consecutive match, surrendering only their third goal during that streak. They will face Lincoln in the quarterfinals following the Cardinals’ 4-1 win over Aloha Tuesday night.
Cleveland dominated the first half, with the ball rarely crossing midfield. Senior midfielder Lauryn Ruegg sent a long cross through traffic to the right side of the box in the 20th minute and freshman forward Ellie Ruhoff never broke stride as she half-volleyed a shot into the back of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later another freshman, midfielder Sofia Sosa headed home a pass from Ellie Mortensen to put Cleveland up 2-0. After 30 minutes of play, the Warriors appeared on their way to a rout physically outmatching Forest Grove at nearly every position on the field, swarming to the ball on defense and playing aggressively end-to-end.
Forest Grove was limited to two shots in the first half, but both were quality. Junior forward Sophie Davis centered a pass to Lily McGee, who got a strong strike from just outside the 18-yard box, but it went high and wide. Late in the half, sophomore midfielder Amy Gonzalez took a free kick from about 30 yards that was misplayed by the Cleveland goalkeeper Jordyn Hoff. Instead of parrying the high shot over the bar, Hoff indecisively deflected the ball in front of her where an alert Davis pounced on the opportunity and buried the rebound into the back of the net, pulling the Vikings to within one at the half.
The second half was a total turnaround, with Cleveland appearing depleted of energy as the Vikings outshot them 7-3. Hoff atoned for her earlier error with a brilliant save, coming out of goal to take the ball off the foot of Davis on a breakaway in the 59th minute. The Vikes put six of their shot on frame in the final forty, but Hoff was able to save them all. The one off-target shot was another Gonzalez free kick that just cleared the ball by a couple of feet.
Cleveland’s junior defender Eliza Herring made a critical stop in the box on a ball played through from Davis to Yasmin Aguilar, making a solid tackle before Aguilar could get off a close-range shot. Forest Grove’s last chance came on a corner kick, initially ruled a goal kick by the head referee but changed after consulting an assistant. The Warriors cleared the kick and turned it into a two-on-one breakaway in the final two minutes. They didn’t score, but ran off enough precious time to seal the win.
For the match, the Vikings outshot Cleveland 10-8 with eight shots on goal to the Warriors five. There were just three corner kicks in the match, the first coming 55 minutes in. Hoff finished with seven saves, while Forest Grove junior goalkeeper Hailey Peterson saved three shots.
Forest Grove finished the season with an 11-4-1 record.