Girls Soccer: Cleveland Advances With Win Over Lakeridge

The Warriors will face undefeated Jesuit, the No. 1-ranked team in the state in the quarterfinal matchup


Clarion photo Henry Light

Sarah Pender (11), Rosemary Costa (17), and Lucy Weinberg (9) set up for Elsie Koehler’s corner.

No. 9 Cleveland is off to the quarter finals after a 1-0 win over No. 8 Lakeridge Wednesday night in Lake Oswego.

Cleveland beat Lakeridge 2-0 early in the season, and according to Warriors defender Jaidyn Richter, that played into their preparation going into round 2.

“Prior in the season we had beat Lakeridge, so going into the game we knew it would be hard to beat a team twice.” said Richter. “Our approach was the same as the game against South Eugene–we knew it all came down to how well we played together as a team,” she added.

The Warriors stepped up to the playoff intensity from their first possession, with a long passing sequence along their back line that kept Lakeridge on their heels. Cleveland found lanes for a couple through balls, but was unable to move the ball into dangerous areas, and Lakeridge came away with the first two scoring chances of the match through their counterattack.

When Lakeridge was able to get the ball back from Cleveland they looked to put loose balls behind the Warriors’ defense for their attackers to chase down. This tactic got Lakeridge the first shot on goal of the game at 35:41 of the first half, when Alexis Gonzalez outran two Cleveland defenders down the left wing and put a hard shot towards the opposite side of the goal that keeper Lloy Bartolotti was able to deflect out of bounds.

At 22:10 the Warriors had their most dangerous attacking sequence so far, when Elsie Koehler played a corner short to Lola Pierce, who found Rosemary Costa with a cross for a shot off the crossbar. On the ensuing throw-in after Lakeridge cleared the ball out of bounds, Pierce played another cross into the box resulting in a dangerous rebound that Cleveland couldn’t get to. Finally, to finish the sequence, Koehler intercepted a ball near midfield, but just missed the Pacers’ net from over 30 yards out.

After the match hit a lull where both teams made some plays but couldn’t hold onto the ball in their attacking final third, a Lakeridge free kick from 10 yards into their own territory caused the Warriors’ hearts to skip a beat. The free kick was played all the way to the top of Cleveland’s 18-yard box, and after pinballing around, a deflection left a 50-50 ball between Lakeridge forward Elisa Damori and Cleveland goalkeeper Lloy Bartolotti. Bartolotti narrowly won the race to the ball and kept the game tied at 0.

For much of the rest of the first half, and stretching into the second off their kickoff, Lakeridge controlled the ball in Cleveland territory, with their aggressive press helping them keep Cleveland from advancing the ball past midfield.
Cleveland got their first chance of the second when forward Amalia Galm overran a loose ball in the Pacers’ box, but was able to turn around, gain possession, and hit a hard shot at Lakeridge keeper Cami McComack, who made the save.

Cleveland’s defense and aggressive clearances by Bartolotti held off more 50/50 chances for Lakeridge, and finally defender Richter took things into her own hands on offense. At 12:51, after receiving a pass from Koehler, Richter looked toward the goal from almost 30 yards out and found a lane to shoot between two Lakeridge defenders closing in on her. The Pacers’ keeper was caught off balance on the opposite side of the goal and the shot sailed over her head into the right side of the goal.

“I was so happy in the moment to just get a goal to help my team in any way I could,” said Richter. “I looked up, saw the goal and just drove the ball into the back of the net. I knew I had to get it off quick as the Lakeridge defenders were pressing, but lucky midfielder Elsie Koehler played me a pass that set me up perfectly. That goal will definitely be one I will never forget.”

For the next five minutes, the teams went back and forth. Mason Bregoli nearly gave the Warriors an insurance goal, just missing a rebound in the box, and Bartolotti had to make another aggressive clearance just outside her 18-yard box.

At 6:19, the Pacers saw their best chance at an equalizer starting with a corner. The cross into the box went over Bartolotti’s head at the front post, forcing Lucy Weinberg to make a sketchy goal line clearance. The clearance fell to a Lakeridge player near the top of the box, but she couldn’t control the ball enough to put a shot on goal, and Bregoli forced it out of bounds.

About 35 seconds from victory, Cleveland faced a controversial decision by the referee. After Bartolotti chased down a missed Lakeridge shot out of bounds, the referee signaled for the clock to be stopped and showed her a yellow card for time wasting. There was a spare ball sitting on the opposite side of the goal, and the ref believed Bartolotti chased down the other one rolling away to waste time. This decision meant Cleveland had to play their backup keeper, almost 90 minutes since facing shots in warm ups, until the next stoppage in play. Luckily they played the ball out at 00:22, and neither keeper faced another shot.

Cleveland will face No. 1 Jesuit on the road at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the quarter finals, looking to bring home a massive upset against an undefeated team that beat Cleveland 8-0 in their 6A opener.

“The game plan heading into Jesuit is to just play our game and to stay patient. We aren’t going to let the reputation and big name of Jesuit get into our heads. We want to stay compact defensively but then when we win it take chances up field,” said Richter.

The Warriors hope to have found their winning formula in the first two rounds.