Ashland High soccer teams ousted from 5A state playoffs

Ashland couldn't capitalize on several scoring opportunities against Cleveland, which scored right before halftime to take a 2-0 lead then added two more insurance goals by Francesco Verna-Ketel in the second half to claim a 4-0 win in a Class 5A boys soccer first round playoff game Tuesday in Portland.

Cleveland senior midfielder Daniel Merchant, one of 13 seniors on the Warriors' roster, tallied the first goal of the game when he headed in a ball that was initially blocked by Ashland keeper Tejas Leier Heyden in the seventh minute.

The Warriors (11-2-3) made it 2-0 right before halftime when Adrien Baures took advantage of a defensive miscue by the Grizzlies (8-6-1).

Verna-Ketel tacked on two more goals in the 68th and 74th minutes to lock up Cleveland's seventh win in its last eight games.

Seniors Andres Garcia, Gabe Young and Nick Chouard played well for the Grizzlies, who had won three straight games and four of their last five.

"I think it was a great season for (the Grizzlies)," Ashland head coach Abdiaziz Guled said. "They would have loved to win the game but I'm very happy with how they played this season.

"(The Warriors) took us out of our game, but our boys played very well. They never gave up."

Girls Soccer

At Wilsonville, Ashland sophomore Jessica Harrower tied the game with a close-range shot in the 57th minute but Wilsonville came right back with a goal two minutes later and that proved to be enough as the Wildcats earned a 3-1 victory in the Class 5A first-round match.

Harrower scored off a nice assist by senior Sadie Bailey, who streaked down the sideline to draw three defenders before crossing to her open teammate.

In the 59th, Riley Johnson gained control of a loose ball in the box and kicked it in to give the Wildcats (11-3-1) the lead for good. Courtney Antonson added an insurance goal in the 78th as Ashland (9-4-2) pushed forward in an attempt to tie the game.

The loss snapped the Grizzlies' five-game winning streak, which included a 2-1 play-in win over Lebanon on Saturday.

"They were ranked No. 3 but this was a very winnable game," Ashland head coach Eric Wolff said. "They were kind of on par with Grants Pass and we had two good games against Grants Pass. It's disappointing to lose that, but the girls were "¦No. 13 in the state and that's not too shabby."

Wolff added that Calysta Susumago starred for Ashland on defense, while Bailey was the workhorse on offense.

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