Originally published November 4, 2017 at midnight, updated November 4, 2017 at midnight
The HRV boys soccer team began their road to Hillsboro at home this past Wednesday night as they matched up against Silverton in the first round of the OSAA playoffs.
After an up and down regular season, the Eagles were able to maintain the number one seed in the OSAA standings, which assures them home field advantage for the first three games of playoffs.
In their first playoff game against 16th seed Silverton, the Eagles won 4-1 and secured themselves a date with none other than Woodburn on Nov. 4 in the quarterfinals; game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at Henderson Stadium.
Against Silverton, HRV got off to a fast start.
With only six minutes off the game clock, Westley Carter found an opening and put one in the back of the net to put the Eagles up 1-0 with 34 minutes remaining in the first half.
After the first goal, however, the game would go back and forth between the Foxes and Eagles.
Silverton’s goalie, Keegan Conaway, came up with some saves in the first half to halt any chance of the Eagles running away with this game early on; Conaway ended with six saves on the night.
The Eagles continued to apply pressure, getting a couple corner kicks in the remaining 30-plus minutes of the first half, but were never able to convert off their good looks and would go into halftime up 1-0 over the Foxes.
In the second half, the Eagles would show why they’re the number one team in state and would put this game away.
Nine minutes into the second, the Eagles scored and pushed the lead to 2-0, but this time it was Robby Running who made the connection with the back of the net, and this would only be the beginning of his amazing second half play.
A minute later, a streaking Running would get the pass from Reese Carroll, and Running would reward him with the assist. The game, now 3-0, was ultimately out of reach for Silverton at this point.
And if this game wasn’t over after the third goal for the Eagles, then there’s no question that it was with eight minutes remaining on the game clock, when, yet again, Running found the back of the net for his third goal of the game.
Silverton would get a late goal with 40 seconds remaining to make the final score 4-1.
HRV outshot Silverton six to four and had four corner kicks to Silverton’s two.
Alejandro Rodriguez, goalie for HRV, only added two saves to these statistics, another clear indication of how good HRV was on defense.
Only allowing four shots and two corner kicks, as well as helping Rodriguez in the box, making him work as little as possible were things this stingy defense did Wednesday and more than ever this season, they look ready for the playoff push.
The offense and defense against Silverton combined for a well-executed game and against Woodburn on Saturday this team knows they need to be even better and bring it all to the Bulldogs if they want to move on to the semifinals.
This rivalry between HRV and Woodburn goes back to the 2013 season, when HRV beat Woodburn 3-1 in the semifinals.
The following year in 2014, HRV and Woodburn matched up again, but this time it was in the finals. HRV would win this game 2-0 and were state champions.
And now this year these two teams met again, but in the quarterfinals, with some players still around in the program when they met in the championship.
Both sides know it’ll all be left out on the field come Saturday at Henderson stadium, and that’s important to note.
HRV and Woodburn match up skill wise, so when these two see each other, it’s less about skill, because neither of these teams are just going to be able to ride skill into the next round; instead, it’ll be about which team has more passion and heart to win, who’s going to make the extra effort to give their team the edge, and that team will be the one moving on to the semifinal game on Nov. 7.
On Saturday against Woodburn, paid admission is required.
If HRV wins on Saturday, their next match will either be against La Salle Prep or Marist Catholic.