HILLSBORO — A desperation sandwich from the same Corvallis kitchen put No. 10 seed Crescent Valley on top of the OSAA 5A girls soccer world Saturday afternoon at Hillsboro Stadium.
Raiders sophomore Ana McClave was the bread -- with the Raiders’ first goal and the winner in the first overtime period -- but it was senior sister Cali McClave’s improbable air mail in panic time that made CV’s 3-2 victory over No. 4 Churchill possible.
It’s worth mentioning first. To set the table, the Lancers (10-5-3) were hanging on for dear life after Emerenciana Reyes gave them a 2-1 lead with a point blank blast with 6:19 left in the second half.
The Raiders (11-4-2) pressed forward, but seemed to be running out of answers as the clock ticked under the two-minute mark.
Finally, Churchill was called for a foul, but it was all of 42 yards away from the Churchill goal. Maybe the best thing the Raiders could hope for was for somebody to lob a kick into the box and hope the right person could get a lucky foot on it.
“My job,” Cali McClave said, “was to score a goal. Somehow.”
She certainly has the leg for it. Raiders coach Blake Leamy had her in the back line to boom the ball out of trouble.
As McClave set the ball down, Leamy, on the Raider sideline, was reminding himself of an axiom he lived by as a coach.
“I learned from watching Mike Riley coach,” he said of the former Oregon State football coach. “You’re always playing for the next play. It’s the only thing you can control. I had not given up.”
McClave stepped up and crushed one that went high over all the field players’ heads and headed for the goal.
“I thought, hey, I hit that one pretty good,” McClave said.
So good that Churchill goalkeeper Gracie Bratland couldn’t get it, either. She leaped as high as she could and reached, but the ball just missed her hand and settled authoritatively into the back of the net.
Now it was a matter of who could get the next and last break.
Ana McClave got one with 8:24 left in the first overtime period by doing what she does best: Lurking around the goal and waiting for a ray of sunlight.
She got it when the Lancers missed on a clear and McClave dashed past the defenders after the ball. Bratland couldn’t get there in time and McClave’s tap trickled off her hands and into the goal.
It was all, she said, a matter of making the right read.
“I knew the ball was going to go over the defender,” she said, “and I knew I was taking a big risk if I guessed wrong. I just tapped it and didn’t even see it go in.
“I first knew when my teammates reacted to it. It felt amazing.”
And it was enough. The Raider defense kept the the Lancers from threatening the Raider goal the rest of the way.
Ana McClave got the first goal of the game just 8:24 into the game when Bratland mishandled a save. Makenzy Stiffler tied it for the Lancers halfway through the second half when she bombed a free kick of her own from 35 yards away and saw it trickle into the net.
Ana McClave was ejected from the game late in the second overtime when she got her second yellow card.