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Defending champs dump Colts.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

SPRINGFIELD - By winning the Midwestern League title, Thurston got a home game against the third-place team out of the Northwest Oregon Conference to open the playoffs.

However, this was no ordinary No. 3 seed.

Defending state champion Hillsboro scored a goal in the 57th minute to defeat Thurston 1-0 in the second round of the OSAA Class 5A boys soccer playoffs Tuesday afternoon at Thurston High School.

Hillsboro advanced to the state quarterfinals as it seeks to defend its state title.

"We have a goal to try and get back to the state championship and it has taken a lot of hard work," Hillsboro coach Tim Ellsworth said. "We kind of fell down a little lower than we wanted to in our league and we're fighting now from the third hole, but we hope to make it back. This was a tough game and we're happy to get out of here."

Thurston coach Ryan Christner knew his team faced a tough challenge in its playoff opener against the Spartans, who finished behind Glencoe and Sherwood in league play but opened the playoffs with an 8-1 win over West Albany.

"Tough first-round matchup against the defending champions," Christner said. "In the Northwest Oregon Conference, any of those three teams could have finished first in league. Hillsboro returned 10 players from a state championship team, that is a quality team."

Hillsboro outshot Thurston 15-7 and had a couple of good opportunities in the first half that Thurston goalkeeper Calvin Green saved to keep the game scoreless at halftime.

"That was a good game against a great team," Ellsworth said. "I thought their keeper kept them in the game in the first half. We had three or four chances that we could not put away, and we knew they have not given up a lot of goals, so we knew it would be a tight game. We thought if we could get that first one it might put them on their heels a bit. It took us awhile, but we finally got it."

Fidel Izquierdo scored an unassisted goal midway through the second half for the Spartans.

"Fidel is a goal-scorer and he knows what to do when he gets the chance," Ellsworth said.

Thurston did not get many good looks after the opening minutes of the game.

"I can't say enough about my defense," Ellsworth said. "We held them out really well and didn't give up many quality chances at all. I'm real proud of our back four. We talk about having clean sheets and getting shutouts, and it was nice to get that today."

Thurston's best chance came in the 22nd minute when Lucas Montes sent a pass to Ramon Gordillo, whose shot was deflected wide right.

"It was a well-played game," Christner said. "Two very good teams and I thought we played well. We had a few opportunities we missed and they had a couple opportunities and put one away. It was back and forth all game."

Thurston won the Midwestern title with a 9-0-1 record and reached the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years.

"This is a young team that was league champs for the first time in 20 years at our school," Christner said. "I'm excited. I'd like to get out of the second round, but at the same time we did a great job during the season. It hurts to lose, but I don't feel like we did not play well or a bad call hurt us. It was a good game against a good team and that happens."

Woodburn 2, Churchill 0: Miguel Arellano scored in 23rd minute after an assist from Omar Mendoza, and Luis Ibanez-Ocegueda added an insurance goal off an assist from Vlad Anselmo in the 61st minute for the host Bulldogs.
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Title Annotation:Soccer Prep Boys; Hillsboro boys solve Thurston's defense in second half for a 1-0 victory
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 7, 2007
Words:636
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