Grizzlies grit teeth, take out Bulldogs

Back in September, when the Ashland High boys soccer team was still figuring things out, Woodburn paid a visit to Ashland and showed everybody on hand the difference between a top-flight 5A soccer squad and a program seemingly in rebuilding mode.

Well, apparently the Grizzlies are rebuilt, because on Tuesday Ashland scored two second-half goals to avenge that early-season loss and oust the sixth-ranked Bulldogs, 3-1, in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs at Ashland Middle School.

Adam Pavlich scored the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute, Reed Chasmar had two assists and Noah Sohl came up with four saves as Ashland (9-5-1) earned a quarterfinal date with Bend (11-3-2) Saturday in Bend.

The game was tied 1-1 when Chasmar, on a horizontal run, saw Pavlich streaking toward the goal and delivered a perfect pass. Pavlich, who leads the Grizzlies with 10 goals, easily juked past Woodburn keeper Eliseo Centeno to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead.

Nine minutes later Chasmar set up another open teammate, this time Ian Murray, who corralled a chipped through ball as Centeno hit the turf. Murray scored into an empty net.

"(Chasmar) could have tapped it in, but he saw me sitting in the top of the box with no defenders," Murray said.

Ashland's strong finish negated the Bulldogs' furious attack, which yielded seven corner kicks and 11 shots on goal, including one that Sohl kick-saved to keep the game tied midway through the second half.

"We started a bit slow where they had the attack on us," Ashland head coach Brad Roupp said. "Then we came alive and started passing to our teammates' feet rather than just into space. That's what we worked on and at some point we took over."

Roupp also dolled out credit to Ashland's defense, singling out sweeper Dakota Wolff — "he was absolutely amazing today" — along with outside backs Kevin Cassidy and Trevor Miftihittin.

Offensively, Ashland finished with 14 shots, four on goal.

Ashland's Chris Landt scored the first goal of the game in the 14th minute after a shot by Pavlich was deflected in front of the net. Pavlich was credited with the assist.

Woodburn tied the match 10 minutes into the second half when Ivan Leon booted a rebound off a Grizzly defender and into the net.

The Grizzlies avenged a 6-3 loss to the Bulldogs on Sept. 26. Woodburn, which won nine of its previous 10 games, finished second to Corvallis in the Mid-Willamette Conference.

"I think they just played a little bit harder than last time," Woodburn coach Luis Del Rio said.

The game was physical throughout. Two yellow cards were handed out — one to each team — as both squads employed hard slide tackles and bruising, body-bumping defense.

"That was Portland soccer," Roupp said.

The win was Ashland's fifth straight since a 3-2 loss to Crater on Oct. 10.

"We came out strong and (we're) a different team than (Woodburn) saw last time," Sohl said. "We really came through. Even though we got a little bit flustered here, we regrouped and everybody played really strong. I'm really proud of my team."

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