The Crescent Valley High girls soccer team will play for its second consecutive state title on Saturday.
The top-seeded Raiders will match up with No. 3 Wilsonville at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium, where their group of seniors will have a chance to cap off a four-year stretch that has been filled with postseason success.
CV’s seniors have reached at least the state semifinals each of the last four years, and they helped secure the school's first girls soccer state title with an overtime win over Churchill last season.
“It’s just a special group of seniors — they’ve all been really good stewards and leaders in this program,” CV coach Blake Leamy said. “They’re just a really solid group.”
The Raiders will lean on their big-game experience and deploy their rock-solid defense against one of the top offenses in the state.
“The kids are kind of accustomed to it, they know how to handle themselves and how to prepare properly,” Leamy said. “I think we’re just more calm than in the past. We’re used to it. We know what the emotional parts of the playoffs are like and we just handle it.”
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After dispatching The Dalles, Willamette and North Eugene in the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Raiders will face a Wilsonville squad that loaded from an offensive standpoint. The Wildcats (13-4-1, 7-0 Northwest Oregon Conference) have scored 88 goals this season, the most in 5A by a wide margin. Among teams in Oregon, only 6A powerhouse Jesuit has scored more this season.
Much of that output comes via sophomore striker Lindsey Antonson, who scored 22 goals as a freshman last season and has scored even more this year.
“They’re very athletic,” Leamy said of Wilsonville. “Every one of their players is a good soccer player — there isn’t a weak link out there. They’re all fit and hungry. … Antonson is just a really exceptional player, they’re all exceptional players. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
The two teams already faced off once this season with CV topping the Wildcats 2-1 at home in a Sept. 12 matchup.
CV has a high-scoring offense of its own that has powered it through plenty of games this year. the Raiders have tallied 59 goals this year — good for fifth in 5A. But defense has been their calling card for much of the year, and no 5A team has allowed fewer goals than the nine that CV has surrendered.
Senior goalkeeper Peyton Dale was an all-state selection last year, as was senior midfielder Claire Macy, who won Mid-Willamette Conference's player of the year this season. The CV backline features junior standout Jada Foster — a second team all-state selection as a sophomore — alongside an experienced group of defenders to help shield Dale.
“We’ve just really got to continue doing what we do,” Leamy said. “And that is playing in the moment, just working as a team and playing as a team. Hopefully our team will be better than their team. Even though they have a really exceptional player, we think we have some pretty exceptional players, too.”