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Ashland High climbed back into the match with an early second-half goal, closing within one score.

Corvallis responded quickly with a barrage, taking the momentum back for good.

The Spartans scored three times in about seven minutes Tuesday on their way to a 5-1 win in an OSAA 5A girls soccer first-round match at Taylor Field.

Following a diving stop by Corvallis keeper Elly Wolfe, the Spartans came back soon after on the other end when Daisy Rodriguez found Aja Bumpus for a close-in opportunity against Ashland’s Taylor Buckley.

Bumpus found the net in the 53rd minute, as did teammate Wendy Hare off a Bumpus assist just a few minutes later.

Heather Wright completed the scoring in the 60th minute on a Jordan Taylor assist. Taylor’s shot slammed off the crossbar and Wright put in the rebound.

“It was really big, because I know having that goal scored on us right after the first half started, that’s when we needed to bring our ‘A’ game and I’m really proud of us,” said senior defender Maggie Hunter.

Hare’s goal in the 55th minute, her second of the game, came when Bumpus knocked the ball away from an oncoming Buckley near the top of the 18-yard box. Hare was free to finish it.

Bumpus, a senior forward, had a goal and two assists. She said her goal came on something her team has been working on in practice, “finding the forward’s feet right away, or finding them through right away.”

Corvallis (10-4-1) advances to a Saturday state quarterfinal match at Summit (12-2) in Bend. The Storm defeated visiting Lebanon, 3-0 on Tuesday. Summit has allowed one goal in its last 10 matches.

Ashland, which lost 4-1 at Corvallis on Sept. 23, finishes at 10-3-1.

“Soccer is such a fickle sport where a one-goal lead is not anything, or a two-goal lead isn’t anything,” Spartans coach Matt McDonough said. “It shifts so fast. Even being up several goals we just wanted to keep pressing hard.”

McDonough said his team has been preparing for that game and a situation in which the opponent scores. It became reality.

“What is our response to that mentally? Do we give up or do we come out with urgency and keep fighting back?” the coach asked.

Corvallis scored twice in the match’s first 16 minutes, on goals by Cella Allen (Bumpus assist) and Hare.

Ashland had a few good chances in the first half, but missed or had a Corvallis defender step in front of a pass.

The Grizzlies came out of halftime without the momentum but grabbed it with Lily Annen’s goal on a Liv West assist.

The Spartans regrouped and soon had everything going their way.

“It really shows how hard we’ve been working,” Bumpus said.

The CHS seniors lost the Mid-Willamette Conference title for the first time in their careers, taking second to Crescent Valley.

Bumpus said she and her teammates felt as though they had to prove themselves and “have definitely bounced back” with Tuesday’s result.

The win ended the program’s four-year streak of first-round losses. The four defeats — in consecutive years starting in 2013 — were all by one goal.

Hunter said it was big to be able to end that stretch as a senior.

“I am so proud of how far the team has come this whole season,” she said. “All the effort we’ve put in, to see it pay off is really amazing.”


Sports Reporter

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