Throughout the season, the Crescent Valley High girls soccer team has displayed a calmness and confidence no matter the situation.
That trait has come in handy and helped the Raiders to a 14-0-1 record and a second straight trip to the OSAA 5A semifinals.
Crescent Valley, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, hits the road to take on No. 2 Summit (14-2) at 4 p.m. on Tuesday in Bend.
The other semifinal pits No. 1 seed North Eugene (14-1) against No. 4 Sandy (12-1-2).
The winners advance to Saturday’s title game at Hillsboro Stadium.
That calmness was on display in Friday’s quarterfinal battle with a Ridgeview team that came in with just two losses, both to Summit.
The Ravens controlled most of the possession in the midfield in the first half and easily could have frustrated the Raiders.
Instead, they battled through and when Emma Smith sent a perfect pass to Cali McClave, the junior buried a goal that gave the Raiders the spark they needed.
McClave added another goal in the second half for the 2-0 win.
“The first half was a little rough, we were out of sorts a bit,” third-year coach Blake Leamy said. “But this group has been pretty on top of it and kept their composure and they didn’t get down on each other and didn’t gripe and started trying to figure out the puzzle."
CV’s experience came into the picture at the half when the players got together to positively analyze what happened in the first half and discuss strategy for the second half.
“I think we just realized we wanted this a lot more and I feel like we knew (Ridgeview) would come out hard so we had to come out harder,” McClave said Friday night. “I knew our team had it in us, we just had to pick it up and get going.”
Getting the first goal in any game is big, but for the Raiders it has usually meant all they would need.
With sophomore Peyton Dale in net, CV has pitched 11 shutouts in its 15 games and allowed just four goals total in the other four games.
Leamy credits the defense of seniors Vanessa Taylor and Isabella Schrader and sophomoe Claire Macy, as well as the outside backs.
“Really our strength is right there and it allows all those other guys up front to be creative and take chances and lose the ball and try to create things,” Leamy said. “Those four and our outside backs are just doing a really good job of not giving much up.”
The back line's poise has been infectious.
“Even when things are difficult they’re calm and that’s a really good trait of any athlete is to be able to be calm when things are kind of crazy,” Leamy said. “It’s really fun to coach those guys.”
CV last reached the state title game in 2006, falling to Bend on penalty kicks. The Raiders have been in the semis three times since but come up short.
They fell to No. 1 seed and eventual champion La Salle Prep, 2-0, in the semis a season ago.
Win or lose Tuesday, Leamy has enjoyed watching the program grow during his three seasons at the helm.
“We really tried to change the culture into something where we compete every day,” he said. “And that we take care of one another and all those traits are starting to come out.
“(Friday) was a classic example of that. We didn’t complain or get mad at each other. We just stayed focused on what we were doing and we competed and played the next play.”