Hillsboro — The story tale ending is complete, but could this be the start of a long book of success for Woodburn girls soccer? The Bulldogs faced a preseason overhaul courtesy of massive roster turnover from last season, featuring them getting torched by rival North Marion 7-0 to start this season. However, as players became healthy and they started to form crucial chemistry, allowing them to eventually develop into a concrete squad with a brick wall defense. This allowed Woodburn, a preseason overhaul, to shock 4A and win the state championship against favorited Marist. However, could it be the start of a dynasty? Well, with the youth of that team, I’d certainly say that is a possibility.
As for the 2019 edition of the 4A Girls State Championship, Woodburn faced Marist Catholic and was tested early by an upbeat Spartans team. However, as the Bulldogs settled down, their gameplay became better and smoother, allowing Woodburn to take control on offense and the game pace. However, Marist would have their opportunities at Carla Zamora, but nothing serious enough to potentially put a goal on the board. Meanwhile, Yahaira Rodriguez took advantage of a defensive mistake by Marist about ten minutes in, allowing her to put Woodburn ahead 1-0 in a tight state championship battle. That would be the lone goal in a contested first half of action.
The second half came with new storylines and drama, as Marist’s increasing hustle turned into dangerous opportunities. With about 20 minutes left in the game, a scramble for a ball outside the goal box turned into a collision resulting in Woodburn’s Carla Zamora being injured and carried off the field by training staff. With their backup keeper injured earlier in the game, Head Coach Andrea Whiteman turned to senior Bailey Castro to handle the goalkeeping duties for Woodburn.
In turn, Castro started conservative and a bit antsy in the net, but she was just getting settled in when Zamora was ready to re-enter the match, bringing a roar of claps from a packed crowd and much needed momentum for the critical stretch of the match. Stepping up on a couple of plays, Zamora was able to hold off Marist in the net while her defense kept plays away from her, and Woodburn would only need Rodriguez’s lone goal to defeat Marist 1-0 and clinch their first state championship in school history. As reality of their massive accomplishment sank in, I tracked down Cassidy Garibaldo, Bailey Castro, and Yahaira Rodriguez to talk about their historical season.
Cassidy Garibaldo on journey from North Marion to state champions, “At the beginning of the season, we weren’t there as a team. We are like family now, we can do anything and our season proves that.”
Bailey Castro on being placed in such a crucial situation as a goalie, “It was tough because our backup goalie couldn’t go in because she got hit in the head earlier, and so I thought I was going in to play midfield but after putting a penny on and taking on some balls I was like “Ok I guess I’m going in as a goalie then”. I’ve always trusted my defense and I’ve given them that 100% trust. If I told them not to let me touch the ball then they wouldn’t let me touch it.”
Yahaira Rodriguez on being a state champion, “It doesn’t feel real, I mean we’ve never made it this far and it became crazier throughout the playoffs. Getting through the quarters and obviously the semi’s, getting revenge against a team that beat us 7-0, but we worked really hard this season and it showed.”