HILLSBORO Prior to this season, Silverton High School’s girls soccer team had never won a match in the state playoffs.
In spite of a tough road the Foxes had to take, they now have some hardware.
Silverton placed second in Class 5A Saturday after a 3-2 loss in penalty kicks to La Salle in the OSAA state championship game at Hillsboro Stadium.
Being anywhere in the state playoffs is an accomplishment for the program when you consider that as a No. 11 seed the team was on the road the entirety of the playoffs.
“It’s a huge step forward,” Silverton coach Gary Cameron said. “In most of the sports, you got to walk before you can run, and now we’re walking. I didn’t know we were going to run so soon, but we did.”
Silverton (14-4-1) pulled off an improbable comeback to send the game to penalty kicks and give themselves a shot at a win.
Down 2-0 at halftime to La Salle (14-1-2), Silverton’s Hannah Munson scored off a crossing pass from Maggie Roth with 20 minutes left. Then freshman Paige Alexander scored off an assist from Isabelle Haselip with nine minutes left to tie the match.
“I think we did awesome,” said Roth, who with Munson played on Silverton’s state champion basketball team in March. “I’m super proud of everyone.
“I think they thought they had it because it was 0-2 at halftime, but we knew we believed in ourselves and we could come back. We played awesome as a team.”
The game stayed tied at 2-2 through overtime and went to penalty kicks.
Munson and Alexander made theirs; La Salle’s Jacqueline Blakeley, Lauren Nebels and Keegan Storlie made theirs then Allison Warta made the final one to put the match away.
It was a tough way to end, but for a Silverton team that was the underdog in every match in the playoffs, it’s been a remarkable run.
“They caught lightning in a bottle for a while,” Cameron said. “They didn’t get to hold onto it for the last 30 seconds.”
Pretty much everything about Silverton’s season was improbable.
The team lost its record-breaking forward Baylie Cameron to graduation and somehow had a new record breaking freshman in Alexander show up just in time.
La Salle marked Alexander with two or three players all game Saturday and she still scored a goal.
“She had all the records, and Paige is starting to take them already,” Gary Cameron said. “They were different type of players. Really top quality soccer players in their own right.
“Paige can put more pressure on the back line than anybody in the state. In that aspect, I wouldn’t trade her for anybody.”
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler