Cleveland HS girls soccer team makes first ever state final
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The state championships in soccer are set for Saturday, and FOX 12 was invited out to practice for the Cleveland High School girls as the Warriors have advanced to their first final ever and it will be all Portland Interscholastic League (PIL.)
The Cleveland girls’ soccer team has reached new heights during a 17-match unbeaten streak to carry them into the OSAA 6A final for the first time ever.
“Sophomore year we got knocked out in the first round, last year we made it to quarters and now this year we are finally in the state championship, and it’s something I really wanted to get to in my life,” said senior defender Jaidyn Richter.
Standing tall with a record of 15-1-3, the 4th seeded Warriors are into Saturday’s 6A championship match in Sherwood against PIL rival and league champion, the No. 2 Grant Generals for the next biggest match in school history.
“I think it’s really awesome that two PIL schools are in the final. Don’t sleep on us, we’re good! We got some good teams in the PIL,” Richter said.
The last team sport to win state from Cleveland was boys’ tennis in 2010 when the school was down in 5A. Now, back up in the highest classification, the quest for the big blue OSAA trophy is a dream driven by desire and determination.
“We are one big family, and we play for each other,” said Richter. “We go on the field every time knowing that we are going to back each other up and the winning just comes with it.”
Championships are forever, and it would be the first for a girls program at Cleveland since the swim team won four in a row in the mid-50s.
“This is a huge deal, and we want to win, not just for everyone here but the school and we feel it, every game, every home game, the student section shows out and it’s crazy because we are girls’ soccer and it looks like a football game,” said senior goalkeeper Lloy Bartolotti.
Getting to play while the Portland Public Schools strike continues and class remains out of session is key.
“I think just having practice at the normal time and not changing anything based on the strike has really kept our mentality going as it has been throughout the whole season,” said junior forward Lola Pierce.
Cleveland and Grant are making history together as the first two PIL schools to meet in the final. Kickoff from Sherwood High School is 6 p.m. on Saturday.
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