One more regular-season victory and the Hood River Valley girls soccer team could have been playing a much easier opponent today in the first round of the state playoffs.
If they had only held on to defeat Bend or Summit — or Mountain View or Redmond — the unbeaten Eagles (9-0-5) could have been playing McMinnville, the No. 4 seed out of the Pac 9.
Instead, they will face Westview of Beaverton, a state quarterfinalist the past two years and the No. 3 seed from one of the state’s elite conference’s, the Metro.
“There’s no doubt that all those ties hurt us,” HRV coach Sue Farro said. “But the playoffs are tough no matter who you play. We can’t think about ‘what if’ anymore.”
The Wildcats finished with a record of 7-5-2 and beat quality teams such as Southridge, Tigard and Sunset along the way. They also played their best match of the year two weeks ago against the No. 1 team in the state, Jesuit — a game they lost 3-2 in the waning minutes.
“That game was a real classic,” said Westview coach Ron Vosper, whose Wildcats were the only Metro team to score on the Crusaders this season. “Their coach was highly complimentary of our effort and I felt like that gave us a huge boost coming into the playoffs.”
Vosper said it took a few games for his young team to find their stride, but once they did, they surprised even him.
“After losing 12 players last year, I thought this might be a rebuilding year for us,” said the eighth-year head coach.
“But they listened very well, worked really hard and were very committed. Regardless of what happens this year, the future is very bright.”
The Wildcats are led by senior forward Jessie Parker, who scored 12 goals during the regular season, and three super sophomores: forward Katie Kidd, and midfielders Sarah Johnson and Amanda Snell.
They also have a strong
defensive foundation, led by second-team all-conference sweeper Jessie White and senior goalkeeper Lorrie Douty.
“We’re very well prepared and have already seen some of the state’s best,” Vosper said. “But we know that Hood River has a quality team as well. You don’t go undefeated in any conference if you don’t have a strong side. I’m sure it will be a test for both teams.”
Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. today at Westside Field. The winner will move on to play either Wilson or No. 3 state-ranked Tualatin on Nov. 5. Field and time will be announced at the conclusion of today’s match.