Valley Catholic Wins Their First Title Since 2017 With a 4-1 OT Win Over Catlin Gabel

Hillsboro — Liberty High School played host to the 4A and 3A/2A/1A soccer state championships on Saturday in Hillsboro, with teams vying for the opportunity to take home a state title. In the first game of the day, private school rivals #1 Catlin Gabel and #2 Valley Catholic squared off in the 3A/2A/1A state championship. The top-ranked Eagles came in seeking their third straight state championship, while Valley Catholic looked for their first state title since 2017.

The 2-time defending champion Eagles came out fast and furious, starting with possession and immediately going on the attack. In less than a minute of action, Pia Patrikson found the back of the net for Catlin Gabel, immediately putting the Eagles ahead 1-0 on Valley Catholic. After some quick excitement, the game quickly turned into a midfield battle and defensive standoff. Catlin Gabel had some decent looks at Valley Catholic, but the Valiants held their ground and kept them out of the net. Valley Catholic had a shot hit the crossbar in the 25th minute, which marked their best opportunity to score in the first half. At halftime, Catlin Gabel led 1-0 on the lone goal by Patrikson, getting off four shots and two on goal in the opening half. Valley Catholic had three shots with the one on goal when it hit the crossbar.

Catlin Gabel’s Charlotte Long charges with the ball towards Valley Catholic’s Steffanie Stark, Photo: Elite Oregon Girls

The second half continued a battle defensively, as both teams found resistance offensively and in the midfield trenches. It took until the 55th minute, but Valley Catholic would indeed breakthrough against the rival Eagles, as Calista Everson scored on a corner kick that bent its way untouched into the back right corner of the net, tying up the game at one apiece against Catlin Gabel. A few minutes later, Valley Catholic delivered a bullet that was saved by the Eagles, keeping it a 1-1 game in the 3A/2A/1A state championship. With less than ten seconds remaining in regulation, Malia Groshong sent a shot on goal that was just wide left of the net, forcing some extra soccer to determine a 3A/2A/1A state champion.

In the first overtime period, Valley Catholic had a prime opportunity within a couple yards of the goal, but Catlin Gabel broke it up to avoid trailing for the first time the entire playoffs. A couple minutes later, Madison Groshong delivered a bullet on a free kick, which was bobbled by Catlin Gabel but eventually stomped on by the goalkeeper to preserve the 1-1 deadlock. Valley Catholic would find the net eventually, as Elizabeth Louie delivered a free kick from around 40 yards that got past the keeper to give the Valiants a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute. Louie’s goal would stand through the first overtime, as Valley Catholic led 2-1 heading into the second overtime.

As for the second overtime, Valley Catholic took their momentum and continued to convert. In the 93rd minute, Haven Zaw-Tun got a takeaway deep in Catlin Gabel territory and sent it to Malia Groshong for the finish, extending the Valiants lead to 3-1 in the second overtime. Just as a unit of good measure, Malia Groshong permanently nailed the coffin with her second goal in the 99th minute to make it 4-1 Valley Catholic. It would be all that the 2022 3A/2A/1A Championship would write, as Valley Catholic won their first state title since 2017 with a 4-1 OT win over Catlin Gabel.

Valley Catholic celebrates after Malia Groshong’s first goal in the second overtime period, Photo: Elite Oregon Girls

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