Girls soccer: head into last season of the CRC league as ‘the target’

Mira Olson is a freshman forward who is crucial to HRV’s attack.

Photo by RJ Chavez
Mira Olson is a freshman forward who is crucial to HRV’s attack.

After the HRV boys’ varsity soccer game last Saturday, the girls team would conclude the doubleheader event as it also matched up against Hillsboro.

Coming off a 3-0 loss to Barlow in their home opener, who are 4-1-1 and currently ranked third in the 6A OSAA standings, the HRV girls’ soccer team took advantage of a chance to regroup against the Spartans.

The Eagles flipped their previous game results against Barlow and beat Hillsboro by a score of 3-0.

From the first whistle of the game to the last, the Eagles controlled the game and never allowed the Spartans to find any rhythm.

“Our defense stayed composed and in control against Hillsboro,” said Haspela. “The attack was confident and dynamic — we had attacking players in the right places throughout the game. It was helpful that we had players up the field ready to receive passes.”

The first goal of the game for the Eagles was a well-executed one, and highlights the players’ recognition of all being on the same page.

Makena Zorza, a senior midfielder for the Eagles, pressured the Hillsboro goalkeeper into a poorly cleared ball that ended up in the hands of the Eagles defense midfield.

The ball was then passed to Mira Olson, who quickly gave the ball up and put the pressure on the Spartans defense.

“She (Olson) turned and hit a diagonal through ball to Nina Casey on the right wing. Nina crossed the ball out of the keeper's range to Makena Zorza at the far post for the one time shot and score for Zorza,” said Haspela. “This goal required five well executed individual skills in a row and the tactical awareness that goes along with it.”

The girls went on to score two more goals and continued to dominate on the defensive end, not giving up a goal for the whole 80 minutes of play and getting two keys saves from both of their goal keepers, Barrett Ihde and Claire Oswald

Heading into the start of league play, Haspela wants to make sure his team focuses on doing “the little things right.”

Heading into the start of league play, Haspela wants to make sure his team focuses on doing “the little things right.”

“We need to make sure we do all the little things right and not get lazy,” Haspela said. “Our marking on give and goes was poor in the first half against Hillsboro. We need to push ourselves to move the ball quickly and be strategic about our passing — no poor decisions will be key for us moving forward.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the girls opened league play at home against Pendleton (results not available by press time). Heading into this game, Pendleton had yet to win a game, going 0-3-1 in four competitions, while the Eagles are 2-2 and currently ranked sixth in 5A OSAA standings.

Heading into both their matchups against Pendleton on Tuesday and the remaining half of their 2017 schedule, Haspela has been clear with this team about what needs to happen if they want to repeat as Columbia River Conference Champions for the last time, as the CRC will be dismantled and formed into a new version of the Intermountain Conference (not to be confused with the current Intermountain Conference, also known as the IMC) starting in the 2018-19 season.

“We need to focus our attention and keep ourselves to high standards moving in to league play,” Haspela said. “We are the target as returning CRC champions and every team, especially Hermiston, would like to win the last CRC championship before our league changes. We will have to earn it and it starts at practice.”

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