Scoring will be front and center in title matches

Finalists haven't struggled to find the back of the net
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

The teams expected to reach the title game did in most of the OSAA Boys Soccer playoff brackets.

The Class 6A, 4A and 3A finals pit teams seeded No. 1 in their quarter or half of the playoff bracket, and the 5A final features a defending champion. Only Wilson, seeded No. 3 at 5A, is something of an outsider to championship Saturday.

GRANT VS. WESTVIEW

These teams met when the current seniors were freshmen, with the Generals prevailing. Since then, they've had a long road to get back to the final.

Grant actually had a losing record last season - 6-8-2, but has roared through this season, losing only to Jesuit, a No. 1 seed in Class 6A, and Cleveland, a No. 1 seed in Class 5A. In the playoffs, the Generals won their first three games by a combined 10-3 before a penalty-kick shootout win over Lake Oswego Tuesday.

Only a pair of late-season losses prevented Westview from winning the Metro League title, but the Wildcats still showed off their scoring prowess with a 6-0 win over Jesuit, another No. 1 playoff seed. Westview has scored three or more goals in 12 of its 18 games, and survived 1-0 battles the past two rounds.

WILSON VS. WOODBURN

Woodburn is the lone defending champion among the eight boys and girls finals and reached the final by winning three home games by a combined score of 10-3. The Bulldogs lost their season opener 3-2 to North Salem. The only other game in which the team hasn't scored three goals came Tuesday in a 2-1 semifinal win over Summit.

Wilson reached the final by winning two of its three games in overtime. The Trojans were in the quarterfinals the past two seasons.

MOLALLA VS. PHOENIX

This final closes out one of the most unusual playoff brackets imagined as the home team won each of the 14 previous games, and 10 were by shutout. Three games were decided by a penalty-kick shootout.

Although the outcomes have been predictable, they've been exciting. Phoenix won its three playoff games by one goal each, and Molalla needed a win in penalty kicks in the semifinal round.

RIVERSIDE VS. ST. MARY'S

The 3A final features a battle of high-scoring teams, including the lone unbeaten squad amongs the boys ranks - Riverside.

The Pirates have given up just seven goal all season and only played in two games decided by one goal or less, the second being their 2-1 win over Pleasant Hill in the semifinals Tuesday. In its 18 wins, Riverside has scored seven goals or more 14 times.

St. Mary's is on a nine-game win streak in which it's outscored opponents 64-7.

Both squad have experience from a season ago, when the Crusaders lost in the final, while the Pirates lost in the semfinals to eventual champion Catlin Gabel.

 

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