Things are about to get pretty tricky for the Hood River Valley girls soccer team.
After Tuesday’s 3-2 home loss to Bend, the Eagles (1-2 IMC) have now dropped two straight, with one of last year’s playoff teams, Summit, awaiting them on Friday (results not available at press time).
The Storm, which beat fellow playoff hopeful Redmond 2-0 on Tuesday, boasts a strong, senior-led lineup with plenty of speed on the attack.
And that could mean trouble for the young Eagles, who lost to Redmond 4-3 on Sept. 11, and risk going 1-3 to start league play.
“It’s a little bit of a shock,” coach Sue Farro said. “For me, and for the seniors who went undefeated last year. We’re still figuring out a few things about our team, and hopefully, we can get these teams back the second time around.”
HRV’s problem Tuesday, just as it was against Redmond, was falling behind by multiple goals and trying to claw its way back in the final 20 minutes.
Bend carried a 1-0 lead into halftime, and upped it to 2-0 just minutes into the second half. Then, a loose ball trickled in front of the HRV goal just long enough to wind up in the back of the net.
The Eagles got one back on the ensuing trip downfield, when senior Acer Lopez was taken down in the box. She converted the penalty kick to make it 3-1, and helped lead HRV’s late-game charge along with center midfielder Lisa Tedford.
Tedford, who recently moved from sweeper to center midfield to give the Eagles more firepower, ended up scoring a second penalty kick with about 10 minutes to go.
But the Lava Bears held off a frenetic HRV attack and sent the Eagles to their second league loss.
“When you have so many new faces on the field, it’s not easy to find a rhythm,” Farro said of her team, which features eight new starters — five of them on defense.
“We are learning the varsity game, while other teams have already gone through the growing pains.”
Like Bend, last Thursday’s opponent, Redmond was one of those senior-rich clubs that was able to exploit HRV’s young defense.
Freshman Jessica Ostler has been asked to assume the sweeper duties in place of Tedford, and she must direct a group with very little, if any, varsity experience.
Tedford’s absence means that Ostler must quarterback a defense that includes freshman Jill Chance, sophomores Rochelle Friend and Ruby Brunk, and juniors Alicia Friend and Emily Sager.
But Farro’s hope is that HRV’s offense will begin to churn better with Tedford and Anna Hidle in the middle, Katie Flory and Kristen Hedges on the wings, and Justine Bryant and Lopez up front.
“We’re going to give it a try for a few games,” Farro said. “Lisa has all the skills to play center mid, so we’ll see how it goes.”