Every year about this time, the HRV girls soccer team begins to settle into what most sports fans refer to as “crunch time.”
The games where you leave it all out on the field in hopes that everything starts to click in time for a state playoff run.
The second-place Eagles are in playoff mode right now, but after this weekend’s home double-header with third-place Summit and first-place Mountain View, the future will become a little more clear.
“Summit is really going to want to get back at us after we beat them 4-0 on their field,” senior defender Elie Meierbachtol said before Friday’s game (results not yet available). “They’re really going to want it and we’ll need to play our best to beat them.”
Summit (7-4-0) is coming off a big 4-0 win over a tough Redmond squad, and is still seeking a top-two seed. Mountain View has nearly wrapped up the Intermountain Conference title at 10-1-1, but if HRV (6-0-4) can take them down today at Westside Field (kickoff at 1 p.m.), the entire playoff picture begins to shift.
“They didn’t really show us that much the first time,” Meierbachtol said of the Sept. 28 meeting in Bend, which resulted in a 1-1 tie. “If we can get ahead early, I think we can hold ‘em.”
The Eagles may be playing without senior starters Becca Meierbachtol and Jazzy Cohen, who are both nursing injuries. Neither player took the field in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Hermiston, but the team was able to do just enough to win.
“We weren’t the same without Becca and Jazzy in there,” Elie said. “We want them to play this weekend, but we also want them to be healthy for the playoffs.”
But before the Eagles can think about who awaits them in the state 4A bracket, they must first take care of business today.
“This game is huge because we need to win the rest of our games to have a chance at the top two seeds,” Meierbachtol said.
Acer Lopez, Jessica McMorran and Lisa Tedford each scored in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Hermiston.