REDMOND — Ridgeview plays every minute as if it is trailing 1-0, Saylor Goodwin says. So the Ravens were not scrambling or anxious when they actually DID fall behind midway through the first half Tuesday night.
And while Ridgeview, making its first appearance in the girls soccer state playoffs, was undersized and less physical than postseason-savvy Marist, the Ravens persevered — into the Class 5A quarterfinals.
With Goodwin scoring twice, including the go-ahead goal on a Ridgeview counterattack in the 72nd minute, the sixth-seeded Ravens rallied for a 2-1 win over the No. 11 Spartans of Eugene in the first round of the 5A state playoffs. With the victory, Ridgeview (13-2 overall) advances to a quarterfinal match Saturday in Corvallis against No. 3 Crescent Valley.
“With our league, we’re used to getting the ball out and playing soccer and people knocking it around,” said Ravens coach Kyle Chown, whose team took second in the Intermountain Conference. Chown said Marist, in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, plays a different stayle.
“We’re not used to playing physical soccer like that,” Chown said. “It took them a little bit to get into it, but I think once they figured out it doesn’t hurt to get knocked down and that they can get after it as well, they were able to do that.”
Marist (9-6-1) bullied through Ridgeview players through most of the match, imposing its will as the Spartans, who were fourth in the Midwestern League, spent most of the night on Ridgeview’s side of the field. The Ravens, however, never folded. Rather, they punched back.
In the 17th minute, Marist grabbed a 1-0 lead as a Ravens hand ball in the box resulted in a penalty kick, which was cashed in by Gabrielle Ficek. Eleven minutes later, Ridgeview answered, as Goodwin collected a header from Aspen Jeter, fended off a defender and fired a left-footed blast into the left side of the net to even the score 1-1.
“There wasn’t any concern, but sometimes it takes us a little bit to get into games and get focused and start working hard,” said Goodwin, referring to the physical play and the deficit. “But if we put our minds to it, we can always do it.”
As the match remained deadlocked for the next 44 minutes, the Spartans continued to demonstrate their size and power, throwing their bodies around while maintaining possession on the Ravens’ side of the field. Marist missed scoring opportunities in the 43rd, 45th, 56th and 67th minutes as the Ridgeview defense, highlighted by stellar goalkeeping by Ciara Pinkerton, continued to stand tall.
Throughout the second half, Chown implored his team to find and play with energy, to somehow orchestrate an attack to break the tie.
In the 72nd minute, the Ravens answered their coach’s call.
Off a Marist throw-in, Jeter muscled to win possession and sprinted upfield, weaving past Marist players before punching a pass ahead of Goodwin. The senior forward collected the ball and continued pushing, battling with a defender the entire way.
“I was like, ‘This is it! This is it! I have to make this!’” Goodwin recalled.
With one subtle push-off, Goodwin created enough space to rip a shot past the oncoming goalkeeper and into the right side of the net to give Ridgeview a 2-1 lead.
“That’s not what we tried to do in the second half,” Chown said of the counterattack. “We came out and tried to take it to them a little bit and put them on their back foot, but they did that (to Ridgeview) because of their physicality. But we were able to get behind them on that counter, and Saylor was able to finish.”
For the final eight minutes, Ridgeview rebuffed Marist attacks. The Ravens continued to clear potential equalizers and ultimately sealed the win, earning a matchup with third-seeded Crescent Valley, which defeated No. 14 St. Helens 4-1 on Tuesday.
“We’re going to have to go in strong and play right from the start,” Goodwin said. “But we’ve got this.”
Tuesday’s win was hard-fought, Chown said, and well-earned. And while the Ravens may have been exhausted after the first-round effort, he assured, they will be ready for Crescent Valley.
“I think there’s a lot left,” Chown said. “I don’t think anybody thought that we would be here, let alone going on to play in the quarterfinals. They’ve earned everything that’s been put in front of them. They’ve got everything to play for.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com