EUGENE — The Willamette Wolverines chowed down on the Hermiston Bulldogs Tuesday, eliminating Hermiston from the Class 5A girls’ soccer playoffs with a 4-0 shutout.

The?No. 6 seed Bulldogs (11-2-1, 4-1-1 CRC) hung with the high-scoring Wolverines for 39 minutes of the first half before an own goal slipped in just seconds before halftime. The scramble around the net couldn’t quite kill the clock and Hermiston went to intermission trailing.

The second half is where Willamette really bared its teeth. The home team scored again in the 60th minute before adding two more goals in quick succession.

“(Willamette) was definitely the best team that we played all year,” Hermiston coach David Hurtado said. “It was a tough loss but I think when you get to this level of the playoffs, these are the types of teams you have to expect to play if you want to go deep.”

Willamette (10-3-2, 4-0-1 MWC) put pressure on the Bulldogs and had them backed up against their own goal for long periods of time. Goalkeeper Hope Butler had 10 saves and several more Wolverine shots just missed the target. On the other side, Hurtado said his team managed just “one or two shots on goal, but nothing too threatening.”

If nothing else, losing at this point in the season gives the returning girls a goal to shoot for during next year’s season, Hurtado said. The players saw what a great team looks like and saw what they want to become.

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