The scoring chances were few — for both teams. But midway through the second half in the rain on North Marion’s football field, the home team Huskies slipped one through to take a 1-0 victory and eliminate Philomath from the Class 4A girls soccer playoffs.
The Warriors end the season with a 10-3-3 record.
“I think there were a lot of unknowns coming into the year and the girls answered those unknowns and worked really hard and meshed together really well as a team and learned how to play good team soccer,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “And you know, a trip to the quarterfinals for a really young team, I’m really proud of them.”
The Warriors came into state as the No. 6 seed and had beaten North Marion in the season opener, 1-0. The Huskies ended up as the No. 3 seed and move on to the semifinals against Hidden Valley with a 12-3-1 record.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Phelps said. “They’ve got a couple of strong players up top. I think it was just a lot of back-and-forth battles near the midfield to the backline and played back up and slot. I don’t think we were surprised by anything.”
North Marion threatened early in the game and Philomath countered with some opportunities through the first 40 minutes. But the game remained scoreless at intermission.
“They came out strong and had a couple of chances early and then we settled down,” Phelps said. “We really ended up controlling a lot of the first half and getting more chances. We had one go off the top of the crossbar and had a couple other chances that were real close but not a ton of chances.”
In the second half, North Marion scored in the 59th minute to take a 1-0 lead.
“It was just a cross that kind of squirted through the far post and we hadn’t shifted over and they put a shot on,” Phelps said. “Hailie got down and got a hand to it but it was from close range … and it just barely rolled across the line.”
From there, the two teams continued to battle back and forth with several possession changes, although there were few chances.
“It was a good defensive battle,” Phelps said. “Space was hard to come; it’s a really narrow football field. You kind of anticipate these types of games, especially in the playoffs.”
Philomath had a couple of opportunities late in the game. With about 7:30 left, the Warriors took a free kick that led to an attempt from about 15 yards out. But the closest Philomath came to tying the game occurred with less than two minutes to play when Kamilla Grimmer got the ball in the middle to K Bacho, who took a shot on goal.
“It squirted through to the keeper and she almost gave up a little rebound but she got on it quick,” Phelps said. “It was a really good play … it was good to come up with that, that late in the game.”
The weather was a bit challenging for the two teams. Phelps said it actually hailed during pregame warm-ups and during the game, it was cold with a bit of wind.
“But really, I don’t think the weather was a factor,” he said. “Both teams played in it and we’ve played in rainy games. It was a little colder than we’re used to, but I don’t think it factored.”
This was the 30th straight season that the Philomath’s girls soccer program finished with a winning record (above .500) — an incredible streak that started when the program was established in 1992.
North Marion 1, Philomath 0
Saturday, Nov. 6, at North Marion, HS, Aurora
|North Marion (12-3-1)||0||1||1|
|Second Half: 1, North Marion, 59th minute.|
Class 4A State Playoffs
Tuesday, Nov. 2
(1) Gladstone 5, (16) Newport 0
(8) Marist Catholic 3, (9) Sisters 1
(5) La Grande 1, (12) Corbett 0
(4) Woodburn 2, (13) North Valley 1 (PKs, 4-3)
(3) North Marion 6, (14) Astoria 0
(6) Philomath 3, (11) Henley 2
(7) Valley Catholic 4, (10) Mazama 0
(2) Hidden Valley 5, (15) Estacada 0
Saturday, Nov. 6
Gladstone 1, Marist Catholic 1
Woodburn 2, La Grande 0
North Marion 1, Philomath 0
Hidden Valley 1, Valley Catholic 0
Tuesday, Nov. 9
Woodburn at Gladstone, 6 p.m.
North Marion at Hidden Valley, TBD
Saturday, Nov. 13
At Liberty HS, Hillsboro
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