Wilsonville sophomore Camryn Schaan works the ball up the field Saturday against North Eugene. (Photo by Jon Olson)
Wilsonville sophomore Camryn Schaan works the ball up the field Saturday against North Eugene. (Photo by Jon Olson)

SHERWOOD – No. 1 Wilsonville drew on its championship experience against No. 3 North Eugene/Triangle Lake in the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 5A girls soccer final Saturday at Sherwood High School.

With the Highlanders applying pressure throughout the match, the Wildcats kept their poise and waited their turn, then converted their chances in a 2-0 victory.

Senior Kenley Whittaker scored off an assist from sophomore Camryn Schaan in the 31st minute, then Whittaker found Schaan for the second goal in the 49th minute.

“One thing that went around the locker room was that we have the experience to be here,” Whittaker said. “Can we control the butterflies in our stomachs and pull out the day? That's exactly what we did.”

North Eugene finished with an 11-4 advantage in shots, but the Wildcats were determined to defend their championship.

“We knew we wanted to get a three-peat and win,” Schaan said. “We believe in each other and we fought for each other.”

Wilsonville (16-2), which brought back all but three starters from last season, lost only to 6A teams Lake Oswego and Lincoln. The Wildcats lived up to their No. 1 seed, outscoring four playoff opponents 15-2.

“This year was difficult because when you come in as the No. 1 seed, that provides its own challenges,” coach Alex Boehm said. “You see in the 6A bracket, No. 1 is gone. So we know just to get here is so difficult. And then to secure the win, in this whole additional challenge against a real quality North Eugene team.”

Whittaker, who has committed to Cal, said her senior season was “just absolutely incredible.”

“In seasons past, we've had different paths to the state championship,” she said. “I think I've seen it all now. This season, we started off pretty strong, had little wobbles along the way, but every failure turned into a learning experience. And that ultimately led to our success here today.”

Like in last year's 2-1 win over Crescent Valley in the final, Whittaker and Schaan provided the goals Saturday. Whittaker scored her 30th goal of the season and 81st of her career. Schaan tallied her 19th goal of 2023.

“We are the absolute dynamic duo,” Whittaker said. “I feel really good leaving the program with her. I just cannot wait to see what she accomplishes. She is an incredible young talent, and I'm thrilled for the future of this program.”

Schaan said of Whittaker: “I love playing with her. She's a great player. We work really well together.”

Schaan's goal came on a perfect through-ball from Whittaker.

“That was insane. I knew it was coming to me,” Schaan said.

Boehm praised Whittaker, who plays forward in club soccer but switched to midfield for the Wildcats.

“Kenley's elevated our program, no questions asked,” Boehm said. “We asked her to play a different position to elevate her game, and not only did she learn a new position, she's the best in the state at that.”

Just as Whittaker picked up the torch from Lindsay Antonson, who scored a state-record 139 goals during her four-year varsity career (2018-21), Schaan is next in line.

“Now Camryn gets to pick up that torch, and she gets to be the role model now,” Boehm said. “That's how we've been successful, because year after year people pick up the torch, and train the next generation.”

The Highlanders came up short in bidding for their first title. In 28 seasons, coach Brandy Wormdahl has taken teams to the semifinals six times and final twice, also finishing second in 2017.