Corvallis High sophomore forward Edgar Monroy speaks softly, but carries a big foot.
The 2017 Mid-Willamette Conference player of the year stunned Parkrose with a goal at 11 seconds and then added two more in the opening 23 minutes to complete a hat trick that powered the Spartans to a 4-2 victory on Saturday in the OSAA 5A quarterfinals.
The Spartans (14-1-1) earned a berth in the semifinals, where they will host Intermountain Conference co-champion Bend on Tuesday in the semifinals at Bob Holt Stadium. The Lava Bears (12-1-3) blanked Hermiston 3-0 on Saturday to advance.
“It put us in the lead, and that was really important,” said Monroy, who converted a pass from Michael Chavez to complete a three-way play. “I was lucky enough to finish.
“Our intensity went up after that first goal, and we were able to maintain it. In the second half we kept our defense together and just played our game.”
Monroy’s goal got the Spartans off to a flying start and knocked the Broncos (12-1-4) on their collective heels for much of the first half. He subsequently tapped in a Dylan Heppell feed to make it 2-0 at 21:21, and then drove a free kick into the upper right corner to make it 3-0 at 23:08.
Heppell completed the blitzkrieg at 28:56 off an assist from Liam Clark and the Spartans were essentially safely through with their 12th win in their last 13 games.
“Our finishing was good,” Monroy said. “We can’t always finish in practice, but we can on the field (in games). We opened up our wings today, found them and played them through.”
CHS coach Chad Foley said starting quickly was imperative. In the opening round this past Wednesday, CHS fell behind 1-0 in the first 90 seconds and trailed Sandy 2-0 into the second half before rallying a 4-3 overtime win via penalty kicks.
A repeat performance would be tough to duplicate against Parkrose, the No. 7 seed and third-place finisher in the powerful Northwest Oregon Conference.
“You only face better teams as you get further along in the playoffs, so we focused on coming out with the right mentality,” Foley said. “We flipped it this game.
“We talk about enforcing our brand of soccer on the opponent, and that’s what we did. Anytime you can get a lead, our team is good enough to manage a game.”
Parkrose scored late in the first half, and with 2:09 remaining on the rebound of a saved penalty kick by CHS keeper Roman Gabriel.
“Give them credit, they didn’t give up and they didn’t make it easy,” Foley said. “Sometimes a 4-2 game doesn’t feel like a 4-2 game. They pressured us.”
Corvallis and Bend drew 1-1 at CHS on Sept. 9 in the Spartans’ third game of the season. Foley said that game will impact Tuesday’s rematch.
“It will mean something. We tied 1-1 and it felt like a loss,” Foley said. “We managed that game but they got a good counter-attacking goal.
“That was their philosophy that game. These guys are going to be hungry to get after them again.”
CHS is seeking its third state championship. It defeated Canby for the 1995 4A title, and topped Mt. View for the 2009 5A crown.