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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland takes a run at Class 5A state title
October 21, 2011Cleveland High School
Scott Killen said he didn’t know what he had going into the boys soccer season at Cleveland. What the Warrior coach may have is the state’s best Class 5A team.
For several weeks and as recently as Wednesday, Cleveland was No. 1 in the Oregon School Activities Association rankings. The Warriors fell to third Friday despite a 12-0 win over Jefferson on Thursday.
Cleveland lost nine seniors from its 2010 team, leaving Killen with a new team to mold. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Warriors are 10-2, a record that includes marquee wins over Grant and Corvallis. Cleveland’s losses were both by 1-0 scores, to 6A power Beaverton, and Portland Interscholastic League leader Wilson.
“I knew we had talent and ability, but I didn’t know if the players would respond the way they have,” Killen said.
Killen says this team has followed instructions better than any team he’s coached. Cleveland isn’t dynamic offensively, but stays in games by limiting opponents’ chances. Killen said the team’s leaders have been center midfielders Zach Striar and Nick Van Marter and center back Trevor Houghton.
Cleveland has never won a state championship, though it played for the state title in 2007, losing 2-1 to Glencoe.
“Obviously, it takes luck and timing, but if things go our way, we have a good shot,” Killen said.