TURNER – Opponents often overlook Brooklynn Petterson.
At 5-foot-1, Cascade High School’s sophomore midfielder/forward can be lost by defenses, and she’s deadly when she is.
Petterson headed in one goal off a crossing pass from freshman Jenica Wiebenga minutes before halftime of Thursday’s Oregon West Conference game against Stayton, then she blew past the defense in the 53rd minute for a second goal in a 2-1 win.
“She’s a little firecracker,” senior goalkeeper Danyel Walling said. “You don’t think she’ll beat those people on the line, but she gets going and you can’t really stop her.”
Blog: Cascade feeds off coach Skip Collins’ boundless energy
Petterson plays with an absence of fear that makes her game bigger than her physical stature.
“I know I’m small, but hey, being small doesn’t make a difference,” Petterson said. “You can do anything.”
Cascade (5-1-1, 4-0) takes over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win against rival Stayton (4-2-1, 3-1).
Despite last year’s Class 4A runner-up finish, Cascade has never won a league championship in girls soccer.
It’s an important step the Cougars feel they need to take.
“Right now we’re just trying to stay humble and not be satisfied with less,” sophomore defender Halle Wright said. “If we keep pushing, keep practicing, push hard, we’ll end up first in the league.”
Cascade has three upperclassmen on the team, and the bulk of the squad is made up of a sophomore class that came of age while starting as freshmen last season.
“The girls are getting the idea, they’re getting the concept, and I’m really surprised, too, by their age,” second-year Cascade coach Skip Collins said. “I’m starting four freshmen and five sophomores. That’s pretty amazing.
“Every win we can get right now is just a bonus on how strong we’ll be in the future. That’s really what we’re working on and focusing on.”
When Stayton freshman midfielder Izaland Samuell broke through with 11 minutes left and scored on a breakaway, it was the first time in the league season Cascade had given up a goal, a streak of 309 minutes without being scored on.
“I’m really proud of my defensive line,” Walling said. “They really save my butt a lot of the time. And it’s so great to have them and be able to trust them. They just have such great skill and I know that they can do everything.”
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Cascade 2, Stayton 1
CAS- Petterson (Wiebenga) 38:00; CAS- Petterson 53:00; STA- Samuell 69:00.