A year ago both Jesuit soccer teams walked away from Hillsboro Stadium with a championship. This season both the men's and women's programs enter the playoffs as the top-ranked teams in the state looking to defend their titles in a few week's time.
With so many games taking place this week, it’s hard to touch on them all, but there are a lot of intriguing matchups taking place in the second round of the playoffs. Teams such as West Linn (girls) and Jesuit (girls) are looking to remain undefeated while Summit (boys) is trying to return to the championship game for a second-consecutive season. Without further ado, let's jump in.
No. 10 Cleveland (12-1-2) @ No. 7 Sunset (10-4-1), Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Two closely-ranked top-ten teams will take the field against one another in what figures to be a highly competitive game. Coming off of a commanding 3-1 victory over Newberg, the Warriors are looking to build even more momentum, but will first have to get through the Apollos.
Sunset made light work of its opening-round matchup against South Medford, winning 4-0 as forward Julien Thuillier netted a hat-trick. Averaging over two goals a game, the Apollos’ offense is a commanding force that is capable of turning any game on its head. In a win against Westview a few weeks ago, the team found the winning goal through a set-piece taken from midfield in the waning seconds.
The Warriors’ front line is also nothing to scoff at. With a goal-differential of +37 and its sole defeat coming at the hands of No. 14 Franklin, Cleveland will be a tough out for any opponent. Their 4-0-1 road record will be on the line in what is setting up to be a high-scoring affair in Beaverton.
The winner will eventually take on either No. 15 Tualatin or No. 2 Reynolds in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
No. 11 Tigard (12-2-1) @ No. 6 Grant (9-3-3), Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. (To be played at Delta Park)
A clash of two teams currently on a roll will take place at Delta Park Wednesday night.
Tigard has not lost since they fell to No. 15 Tualatin 2-1 six games ago. The Tigers kept that momentum rolling last weekend as they went to Grants Pass and won 1-0 with Arthur Simonds and Sam Bacon-Brenes scoring goals. On the other end of the field, Grant is coming in on the heels of a 2-0 win over Mountainside. The Generals have a more recent loss than the Tigers- a 1-0 defeat at Lincoln a week ago- but also have a few impressive wins, including an impressive 2-1 win over Tualatin near the beginning of the season.
With a pair of six-game undefeated runs throughout the season, the Tigers appear to be a strong contender in this season’s playoffs. They put up seven goals on Lakeridge a few days ago and they’ll need to keep that trend rolling when they take on the Generals.
The winner will take on either No. 14 Franklin or No. 3 Lincoln on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
No. 9 Liberty (12-1-2) @ No. 8 Summit (10-2-3), Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
After narrowly falling to No. 1 Jesuit in the state championship a season ago, Summit is back and ready to prove that last season was no fluke.
In its opening-round win over Westview, a Rory McKee goal in the 66’ saw the Storm through to the next round. Summit boasts recent momentum-building victories, including a 5-0 win over rivals Mountain View and a 5-4 victory over No. 14 West Salem.
Liberty has only one loss on the season, a 1-0 defeat coming at the hands of No. 3 Lincoln. Its 4-2 win at Sunset still looks impressive at the end of the season, and a last-minute goal by Jacob McDaniel against Aloha in the first round proves that it is a team that is capable of winning tight games.
Both teams are so close in talent that it can be considered a coin-flip, but Summit has the added incentive that if it wins, a rematch of last years championship game against the Crusaders, is on the horizon.
No. 17 South Eugene (9-2-4) @ No. 1 Jesuit (13-0-2), Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
It’s always difficult to repeat. Last Saturday’s narrow 2-0 victory against No. 32 Lake Oswego proves that it will be no easy feat to get back to the championship game, let alone win it, even as the top seed.
After a slow start to the season which included two draws in as many games, the Crusaders have reeled off thirteen-consecutive victories in short order to reclaim the title of the state’s top-ranked team. Unlike the school’s women's varsity soccer team, the men’s team isn’t running teams off of the field. In its biggest margin of victory all season, Jesuit put up just five goals.
South Eugene is coming off of a narrow 1-0 victory over South Salem in which Griffin Rea scored the winner in the 48’ and keeper Massimo Oedekoven Pomponi made three saves. The team’s most recent loss came on October 18 to Grants Pass, but have since beaten local rivals Sheldon 2-0.
Austin Rodriguez and Riley Acker scored against the Lakers a week ago, but the result-sealing goal coming late into the second half serves as a warning shot. This Jesuit team knows that it is good enough to be considered the best team in the state, but they will need to be at their best every night if they hope to repeat this season.
No. 13 Lake Oswego (7-6-2) @ No. 4 Sherwood (14-1-1), Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Sherwood has done nothing but impress this season and on Tuesday it looks to add to an already impressive season with a statement win in the second round of the playoffs.
Fresh off a 3-1 win over Aloha, Sherwood is looking to pick up its eleventh-consecutive win. Like most teams, the loss came against a Jesuit team that is ranked third in the country according to topdrawersoccer.com. Alongside a potent offense, Sherwood poses a stingy defense that has conceded just 20 goals all season (nine of them came in its game against Jesuit).
Lake Oswego is coming off of an equally impressive victory, a 5-2 win versus Westview. Its last loss came against West Linn a few games ago. The Lakers, who average roughly 2.7 goals a game, should give that vaunted Sherwood defense all it can handle.
No. 12 Wilson (11-4-1) @ No.5 West Salem (12-0-3), Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
On the other side of the same bracket lies No. 12 Wilson and No. 5 West Salem.
Wilson, unbeaten in its last eight tries, is coming off a 1-0 win over Beaverton. The Trojans defense has yet to concede four goals in a game, and that includes allowing just two goals to No. 3 Mountainside.
West Salem is one of the few teams to escape from the regular season unscathed. In its most impressive effort of the season, the Titans took it to Mountainside, winning 4-0. One player to keep an eye on is Paige Alexander who scored a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Tigard while Fatima Jimenez contributed a pair of assists.
With 39 unanswered goals, the West Salem offense will be difficult for Wilson to deal with. Overall, it’s setting up to be an exciting second-round game.
No. 14 Cleveland (9-4-2) @ No. 3 Mountainside (12-2-1), Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Outside of Jesuit, Mountainside has proven to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season.
University of Portland commit Nedya Sawan is one of the state’s best players and proved that once again with a second-half brace in the Mavericks’ 4-1 win against Liberty. One of its two losses came in a 6-1 effort against Jesuit, but that’s a common occurrence when facing a team of the Crusader's stature.
Cleveland is going through an up and down season, but looked solid in its 3-1 win over South Salem on Saturday. The Warriors have a solid 4-2-1 away record, but Tuesday nights game will no doubt be its toughest road test yet.
With 26 goals against Metro opponents alone and a keeper like Sidney O’Billovich between the sticks, it will be a difficult hurdle for Cleveland to clear. If the Warriors want to walk away with they win then they will need to execute a perfect game and, of course, get a little bit of luck on their side.
The winner will go on to play either No. 22 Grant or No. 6 West Linn in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
No. 10 Lakeridge (10-2-3) @ No. 7 Tualatin (13-1-1), Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
With 13 wins and just one loss, Tualatin has been one of the most consistent 6A teams in the state this season. On Tuesday its record will be put to the test against a Lakeridge team that hasn’t conceded more than three goals in a game this season.
Since a season-opening 3-1 loss against Sherwood, the Timberwolves have not lost, and they have been nothing short of dominant. Alyvia Embree scored the winner in a 1-0 win over South Medford in the opening round, but most of the team’s games haven’t been that close. Tualatin is outscoring teams 53-10 which includes victories of 10-0 and 12-0.
Lakeridge, on the other hand, is coming off a 5-0 win versus North Medford. Its first-round win was one of eleven shut-outs on the season, but it comes into the playoffs as a team still in need of more momentum. After a strong start to the season, the Pacers are 2-2-1 in its last five games.
The winner of this matchup will play either No. 15 Lincoln or No. 2 South Eugene in the quarterfinals on Saturday.