Woodburn scored two goals in the first half and rode a great performance by its goalkeeper the rest of the way to pull out a 2-1 victory over Ashland in the first round of the OSAA Class 5A boys soccer playoffs Wednesday at Walter A. Phillips Field.
The visiting Bulldogs, seeded eighth in the 16-team bracket, took a 1-0 lead on Jesus Rodriguez’s goal in the 26th minute and added what turned out to be a crucial insurance goal six minutes later.
Ashland’s Ben Lucero scored off an assist by Ian Shibley with about three minutes to go in the first half to give the ninth-seeded Grizzlies (11-2-2) the momentum heading into the break.
Ashland had plenty of chances to score an equalizer in the second half, including four close-range opportunities in the first seven minutes, but the Grizzlies were denied each time by Woodburn keeper Jose Ochoa.
“Their keeper saved them and he just kept saving them, and we just couldn’t score,” Ashland co-head coach Brad Roupp said. “He was the player of the game if you ask me. He was a big-time keeper. But our boys played fantastic. We’ve had this incredible season of players just playing their hearts out and soccer is for real in this town. People are excited about it and the kids have had just a wonderful season.”
Woodburn (12-2-2) will face top-seeded Hood River Valley in the state quarterfinals Saturday.
Rodriguez gave the Bulldogs the early lead when he beat a defender and the keeper with a low, hard strike that squirted through near the center of the net.
Woodburn’s second goal came off a sharp-angled free kick.
Ashland, the fourth-highest scoring team in 5A soccer, created the final highlight of the first 40 minutes when Shibley delivered a nice pass to Lucero, who one-touched it into the lower right corner.
Roupp said Declan Hinkley and Ian Rinefort both played well for the Grizzlies, as did left wing Jahnoi Hall.
“(Hall) just ate them up,” Roupp said. “He’d make good shots and good passes, and it just didn’t come about. But boy, was he a star out there.”
The loss was the final high school match for 13 Ashland seniors, who helped the Grizzlies capture the Midwestern League championship with a 7-0 league record.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.