Cascade Christian girls pull off playoff upset

BOARDMAN — One leg into its postseason journey, the Cascade Christian girls soccer team found success on the road.

The 10th-seeded Challengers got an overtime goal from sophomore Bryton Plankenhorn and eked out a 3-2 victory over No. 7 Riverside Tuesday in the first round of the 3A/2A/1A state tournament.

“It was a phenomenal game, a real nail-biter,” said Cascade Christian coach Mick Power. “Either team could have won, but we just did.”

The Challengers (8-3-2) earned another road trip and will head to Catlin Gabel in Portland Saturday for the quarterfinals. The Eagles (13-2) are the No. 2 seed, and one of their early victims was Cascade Christian, 2-1 in the season opener Aug. 25.

“It has the makings of a very good game,” said Power.

Tuesday’s did, too.

The Challengers trailed 2-1 at halftime, but Emily Stephens booted a shot from 40 yards in the 49th minute that caromed off the underside of the crossbar to knot the score.

“Their keeper could do nothing but watch it,” said Power. “It was an absolutely superb shot.”

The score went unchanged for the next 31 minutes to the end of regulation.

In the second 10-minute overtime session, Plankenhorn took an assist from Saiah Merrihew in the 93rd minute and scored what proved to be winner.

The Challengers’ first goal came in the 26th minute, after Plankenhorn found Merrihew with a perfect corner kick, and the latter converted.

The goals for Riverside (8-2-2) came in the fifth and 31st minutes.

Power complimented the defense of Baylee Plankenhorn.

“She had an untiring effort across the back,” he said, “keeping us on an even keel. She was phenomenal this afternoon.”

JESUIT 1, SOUTH MEDFORD 0: At Portland, South Medford came up with a strong collective effort against top-ranked Jesuit in a Class 6A second-round playoff match.

Undefeated Jesuit (16-0) finally broke through with about six minutes remaining in the game when senior midfielder Sophia Braun scored on a header.

While the Crusaders had more opportunities, South Medford (9-4-3), which was second in the Southwest Conference, was able to counter attack at times.

Panther junior goalie Skylar Farmer made some key saves to keep the Panthers within striking distance.

Jesuit will host Tualatin, which pulled a 4-2 upset over Sherwood, in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

CORVALLIS 5, ASHLAND 1: At Corvallis, Corvallis made the most of its scoring opportunities, connecting on two early strikes before pulling away late in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Led by strikers Aja Bumpus and Wendy Bare, the Spartans squelched the Grizzlies’ early momentum with a ninth-minute goal, then tacked on another in the 18th to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

The 10th-seeded Grizzlies, who finished their season 10-3-1 after placing second in the Midwestern League, cut the lead in half when Lily Annen scored six minutes into the second half off a Liv West assist. West drove into the attacking third before angling a ball to Annen, who delivered from inside the box.

Corvallis (10-4-1) will face second-seeded Summit on Saturday.

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