U-23s forward Mark Sherrod Hat Trick
Craig Mitchelldyer

Sherrod hat trick leads Timbers U-23s to 4-1 win over Victoria

MILWAUKIE, Ore. –. Forward Mark Sherrod recorded the fourth hat trick in team history and midfielder Andrew Ribeiro logged two assists to lead the Portland Timbers U-23s to a 4-1 victory over Victoria Highlanders FC in front of 349 fans at Alder Creek Middle School on Saturday night.

The Timbers U-23s struck early on a goal by midfielder Eric Miller in the opening minutes of the match and Sherrod tallied his first of the night just before halftime as the home side entered the break with a 2-0 lead. Sherrod scored twice more in the second half, striking in the 60th and 71st minutes on hard-working efforts, to lead Portland (2-0-0, 6pts) to a 4-1 victory.

Substitute forward Josh Heard provided a spark offensively for Highlanders FC (0-1-2, 2pts) in the second half, scoring just a minute after entering the match in the 62nd minute.

Sherrod has scored five goals through two games, Ribeiro recorded his first assists of the season, Miller notched his first PDL goal, midfielder Cam Vickers logged his second assist and goalkeeper Spencer Richey made five saves as the Timbers U-23s recorded their second straight win to open the Premier Development League season.

Heard tallied his first goal, forward Craig Gorman took a team-high four shots and goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou recorded five saves for Victoria in the club’s first loss of the season.

The Timbers U-23s staked an early lead in second minute of the match. Off a Timbers U-23s corner kick, the ball was punched out by Mitrou and was settled by Ribeiro at the top left corner of the box. Ribeiro chipped a pass in on the back post, over the reach of Mitrou, and Miller was there to knock the ball into an open net for a 1-0 lead.

Sherrod doubled the Timbers U-23s’ lead in the 43rd minute on a hard-working play. He chested down a long ball played in to him near the midfield line and then raced down field, beating a defender at the top of the box. Inside the penalty area, Sherrod laced a shot from 12 yards out past Mitrou and into the left side of the goal.

Sherrod netted his second goal of the match in the 60th minute. He was on the receiving end of a leading ball by Ribeiro from the center circle and Sherrod out-raced his defender to the top of the box. One-on-one with Mitrou, Sherrod calmly slotted a sharp, low shot into the bottom left corner of the goal for a 3-0 Timbers U-23s lead.

Highlanders FC trimmed Portland’s lead 3-1 in the 63rd minute, when Heard capitalized on a loose ball in the box. A deflected shot dropped down at Heard’s feet out on the left side of the box and he drilled a shot inside the far post.

Sherrod capped his hat trick in the 71st minute, lifting the Timbers to a 4-1 advantage. From deep in the right corner Vickers served a cross into the box along the six-yard box. Sherrod out-jumped his defender near the left post and got his head to the ball, placing a shot beyond the reach of Mitrou and under the crossbar for his fifth goal of the season.

Richey made three of his five saves in the second half, including a stop on an attempt by Heard from the left side of the box that he was able to get to with a diving effort.

The Timbers U-23s play host to the defending-PDL champion Kitsap Pumas on Thursday, May 24, as part of a Health & Fitness School Day at JELD-WEN Field, presented by Providence Sports Care Center; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. The day will feature pre-game activities and a special on-field presentation led by Providence Health & Services.

Notes: Forward Mark Sherrod became the third player in Timbers U-23s history to record a hat trick, joining forward Ryan Youngblood (2009) and forward Brent Richards (2010, 2011) to achieve the feat … Portland head coach Jim Rilatt coached in his 50th career PDL match Saturday, having served as the team’s head coach since its inaugural season in 2009 … Midfielder Andrew Ribiero became the first Timbers U-23s player in 2012 to record a multiple-assist performance … The last time the Timbers U-23s won back-to-back games to open a season was in 2010 … Midfielder Eric Miller has scored in each of his first two matches for the Timbers U-23s. He also scored in the team’s U.S. Open Cup match May 15 … The goal by Victoria’s Josh Heard was the first allowed by the Timbers U-23s in 2012 … The Timbers U-23s improve to 4-1-2 in the all-time series against Highlanders FC with the win Saturday … The match against Victoria marked the Timbers U-23s’ second in a string of three consecutive home matches to start the 2012 PDL campaign … Defender Evyn Hewett and forward Clark Phillips both made their first starts of the season for the Timbers U-23s.

Scoring Summary:
POR: Miller (Ribiero), 2
POR: Sherrod, 43
POR: Sherrod (Ribiero), 60
VIC: Heard, 64
POR: Sherrod (Vickers), 71

Misconduct Summary:
VIC: Davis (Caution), 9
POR: Phillips (Caution), 22
POR: Carillo (Caution), 89

POR: GK Spencer Richey (Justin Baarts, 82), D Chris Harms, D Anthony Hobbs, D Marc Tonkel, D Evyn Hewett, M Eric Miller, M Andrew Ribeiro, M Cam Vickers (John McFarlin, 74), M Roberto Farfan (Joey De Mare, 78), F Clark Phillips (Ricardo Carillo, 78), F Mark Sherrod

Subs not used: F Emery Welshman

VIC: GK Elliot Mitrou, D Tyler Hughes, D Liam Davis, D Andrew Ravenhill, D Kalem Scott (Robert Eng, 82), M Stephen Ewanshko (Jared Stephens, 55), M Sourosh Amani, M Jordan Hughes, F Craig Gorman, F Sasa Plavsic, F Ashley Burbeary (Josh Heard, 62)

Subs not used: GK Rab Bruce-Lockhart, D Ryan Ashlee, M Thomas Mallette