October 19, 2005
With only three games left in the regular season, the Hood River Valley High School boys and girls varsity soccer teams are working hard to keep momentum on their side as they vie for a post-seasons.
And both took a step closer to the state playoffs last week with wins over the Crook County Cowboys. With only three games left in the regular season, sealing playoff spots will take hard work, determination and a couple key wins.
The girls went on the road to challenge the Cowboys, who are currently at the bottom Intermountain Conference with a record of 0-4-1. After building an early lead, off two goals from Justine Bryant and one from Megan Clark, Coach Joe Kelly switched the team around and gave some of the young players time on the field.
“The girls have really started to step up and take leadership on the field. They are talking more and are playing aggressive defense at the midfield.”
A weakness the girls are still trying to work on is their offensive pushes on the front line. They tend to resort to kick and chase tactics from the front of the midfield to the forwards, instead of composed, formulated attacks.
“Our motion up front needs work,” said Kelly. “But we’re a young team, and this is a building year for us.”
The team consists of four seniors, and handful of juniors and about six sophomores.
With the top four teams advancing to the state playoffs, the girls are currently competing for the fourth spot with Redmond and The Dalles/Wahtonka high schools. They play The Dalles-Wahtonka (currently 2-3-0) at home on Oct. 25 and their final game of the regular season is at Redmond (currently 2-3-1) on Oct. 27.
After a commanding 3-1 victory over Crook County at home last Friday, the varsity boys are looking sharp, confident and composed going into the home stretch of their season.
Friday’s win against the Cowboys was a confidence builder, which should have been a shut-out. Hood River scored an own-goal for the Cowboys off a defensive header in the penalty box. Ernesto Marques, Diego Diaz and Louis Munos scored for the Eagles. Defensively, Hood River was solid. They shut down the Cowboys offense, forcing them to play long-ball offense.
“We’re playing much more confident,” Coach Doug Beveridge said. “We have a great chance of making it to the playoffs.”
With only one loss in league matches, against the IMC’s top team Bend (currently 5-0-1), the boys will seal a playoff spot if they can come away with a couple more wins, or if any three of the league’s top teams lose in their final games.
They boys will face Pendleton, The Dalles-Wahtonka and Redmond high schools to finish off their regular season.