Clackamas scored two second-half goals to break a 1-1 tie with Tualatin on Wednesday evening in girls 6A second-round soccer action and, in the process, shook off the monkeys that had been clinging to the backs of the players for several years.
“Tualatin has been our bugaboo for two years,” said Cavalier head coach Manuel Martinez. “They’re a good, young team. They match up well with us. It was good to get past that.”
With the 3-1 win, Clackamas (13-2-1), the third overall seeds, advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in the careers of the current senior class.
“For the seniors, this is our first time making it out of the first round so advancing from the second round is even better,” said midfielder Emma Anderson.
Host Clackamas struck first in the match, played in cool but dry conditions, when speedy junior Kyla Sullivan found the back of the net in the first minute of the first half of play.
“We are just trying to play simple soccer and taking advantage of our breaks,” Martinez explained. “We have really good players throughout our roster. From one end to the other they are all good.”
Tualatin sophomore standout Cally Togiai converted on her second penalty kick chance of the half to knot the score at the break. Hallie Byzewski, Clackamas’ exceptional senior keeper, stopped the first one four minutes earlier, else Tualatin would have had the lead at the intermission.
One minute into the second half. Clackamas went on top for good. Anderson settled a Tualatin clearing attempt from about 25 yards out and sent a line drive with pace into the net near the far post.
“There was lots of space,” Anderson observed. “There were two defenders and they kind of hesitated so I shot between them.
“It was so exciting celebrating with my teammates. It was good to get my team ahead. Everybody wants it.”
Ten minutes into the half, Tualatin had a good chance to tie the match once more. Togiai, one of the most skilled players in the state, found room near the top of the box, but her right-footed blast sailed wide of the far post. Tualatin didn’t have many more quality chances in the match thanks to suffocating defense from Kori Walters and Remi Le. After a first half where possession was roughly equal according to Martinez, Clackamas controlled the ball in the second, sparked by the aggressive play of forward Ellie Busik and defender Payton Mongelli in the midfield area. Only the strong effort of Tualatin keeper Sarah Hall kept this match from getting out of hand.
With eight minutes to play, Tualatin had its last best chance when freshman Brook Burke blocked a Byzewski attempt to clear. She could not control the ball sufficiently, however, to get off a shot with Clackamas’ keeper out of her net and the ball was cleared away. Three minutes later, a Clackamas free kick from about 30 yards rattled around in the box before Busik knocked the ball over the line, giving the Cavaliers the insurance they needed. With the final seconds being counted down, Togiai tried one last shot from distance but the ball nestled in Byzewski’s hands as the final whistle blew.