BEND — After scoring 13 goals and allowing none over the past two games, the HRV soccer girls had a pretty good idea they were doing something right.
Even though the wins came over the league’s bottom two teams, Crook County and Hermiston, the Eagles knew they were keeping pace with the league’s elite, Summit and Mountain View.
So what better time to prove their worth than in the next two games?
HRV loaded up the bus for Bend last Friday and showed their new conference foes what they could expect when they visit the Gorge later this month.
When the weekend showdowns were over, the Eagles had earned four points in the standings (4-0 win over Summit; 1-1 tie with Mountain View) and were heading back in a virtual tie for first place.
“Things are looking really good right now,” coach Sue Farro said of her team, which raised its record to 3-0-3 on the season. “Our defense has been really composed, our midfield has been ruling, and our attackers have been putting the ball in the net. There’s not a lot more you could ask.”
Acer Lopez and Jazzy Cohen led the weekend scoring barrage with two goals apiece, while team captain Becca Meierbachtol added one — the third in a 17-minute explosion during the first half of Friday’s win over Summit.
Lindsay McClure, Jodie Gates, Brittany Reed, Jenny Villagomez and Lopez were each credited with the assists, while goalkeeper Becki Flory earned her third consecutive shutout.
She almost had her fourth against Mountain View if it weren’t for a questionable second-half call in the box that gave the Cougars a penalty kick.
“The ref had let a couple fouls go in their end, so we thought it would be that kind of game,” Farro said. “But he said that Elie (Meierbachtol) committed the foul to prevent a scoring opportunity and that was the difference.”
Trying to salvage some justice, Flory saved the PK try, but was unable to stop the rebound, which tied the game 1-1 in the 65th minute.
Although the Eagles knew they could have seized first place outright with a win, they still outplayed the league-favorite Cougars and built even more confidence heading into the second phase of league play.
“It would have been nice to come away with a win, but either way, we’re pretty high right now,” Farro said. “Now it gets a bit scary, though. We can’t afford any more ties if we hope to win the league.”
If the Eagles are to win the IMC title, they know they will have to go through Mountain View and Summit once again when they visit Hood River Oct. 18-19.
“I think we can pull it off,” senior forward Ruby Brunk said. We really scared ‘em.”
HRV resumes play at Pendleton (2-3-0) on Thursday.