• Sports updates: Cleveland beats Grant to gain inside track to PIL girls soccer championship

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     Girls soccer.

    Julia Downing scores on a header off a corner kick for the deciding goal in Cleveland’s 2-1 win over Grant. Photograph by Beth Conyers.

    Cleveland put itself in position to win the Portland Interscholastic League girls soccer championship with a 2-1 victory over Grant in a first-place showdown Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Cleveland High School.

    Senior Julia Downing scored a second-half goal on a header off a corner kick in the second half to break a 1-1 tie and give the Warriors sole possession of first place in the PIL.

    “It was a very big win for us,” Cleveland’s first year head coach, Emily Ngan, said. “We had to figure out how to come together and grind as a team in the last 40 minutes.”

    Senior Lauryn Ruegg scored on a penalty kick in the first half to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Grant tied the game on a free kick near the 18-yard box. The Generals’ goal was the first Cleveland allowed since a 3-1 non-league loss to Liberty on Aug. 31. The Warriors did not surrender a goal in their other nine games.

    Cleveland, which was ranked No. 5 in the OSAA power ratings that determine state playoff seeding, shot up to No. 2 with the win. Grant remained at No. 3 despite the loss.

    Cleveland (9-1-1, 4-0 PIL), which last took the PIL title in 2015, won its eighth consecutive game. The Warriors have two road games left to close the regular season, at Roosevelt on Tuesday and at Franklin on Thursday.

    Grant (9-1-2, 3-1-1) fell into the second-place tie with Wilson (7-4-2, 3-1-1). The Generals and Trojans tied 0-0 on Sept. 28.

    Girls soccer game photo-montage.

    Coming up

    Football: Grant plays Lincoln on Friday in the season’s biggest PIL game. Both teams are 5-0 in league play, making this likely a showdown for the league title.

    Volleyball: Lincoln, which has already clinched the PIL championship, wraps up the regular season with home matches against Cleveland on Tuesday and Jefferson on Thursday. The Cardinals (17-0, 14-0) have lost just two sets all season, including one, against Grant, in league play.

    Cross country: PIL teams will compete in three PIL/Mt. Hood Crossover events Wednesday. Benson, Wilson and Lincoln will compete against Mt. Hood teams at Fernhill Park. Madison, Cleveland and Roosevelt will be at Pier Park. And Franklin, Jefferson and Grant are at Lents Park.

    Boys soccer: Grant (9-0-2, 3-0-2 PIL) is No. 1 in the OSAA ranking, but the Generals could finish in second place in the PIL behind Lincoln (7-2-2, 5-0). After Grant plays Benson and Lincoln takes on Franklin on Tuesday, Grant and Lincoln conclude the regular season with a Thursday showdown of the league’s top teams at Lincoln High School.