The Philomath and Woodburn girls soccer teams both pulled out close victories Thursday night to set up a regular-season finale for the Oregon West Conference title.
The Warriors (9-0-2) went to the coast and had to fight off Newport for a 3-1 victory while Woodburn (9-1-1) escaped Cascade with a 1-0 triumph. The Warriors and Bulldogs will square off at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on the PHS soccer field.
Philomath took a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute when junior Alivia Pittman found the net with an assist to freshman Elizabeth Morales. But Newport scored in the 30th minute to tie the score at 1-1, which held up into the second half.
The Warriors took a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute on a Kaili Saathoff goal. Senior Halle Hewitt earned an assist on the set-up to Saathoff, a junior. Philomath then gave itself a cushion with a goal by junior Braedyn McNeely in the 68th minute.
No matter what happens Tuesday, the Warriors will earn an automatic berth to the Class 4A state playoffs, so the game against Woodburn is more about clinching the conference crown, securing bragging rights and earning the best possible seeding.
If the Bulldogs lose, they could end up in a tie for second place with Stayton. Each conference determines how it will select its two allotted playoff spots.
In the latest OSAA rankings, Philomath stood at No. 6, Woodburn at No. 7 and Stayton at No. 10. Woodburn and Stayton split their season series. In their two games combined, Stayton outscored Woodburn, 5-4.
Philomath seniors will be recognized at Tuesday’s game against Woodburn. The Warriors have just two seniors on the roster — Hewitt and Madison Rogers.
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Philomath 3, Newport 1
Thursday at Newport
NEWPORT (2-11, 2-9) 1 0 — 1
PHILOMATH (9-2-2, 9-0-2) 1 2 — 3
First half — 1, Philomath, Alivia Pittman (Elizabeth Morales), 17th minute; 2, Newport, 30th minute.
Second half — 3, Philomath, Kaili Saathoff (Halle Hewitt), 48th minute; 4, Philomath, Braedyn McNeely, 68th minute.