MHS Girls Soccer Team ties La Grande
- Brian Liebenstein
- Madras Pioneer - Sports
Madras High not only achieved a seven-goal turnaround in its girls soccer match Saturday at La Grande, the team saved its playoff possibilities.
The White Buffalos 0-0 tie against the Special District 7 league leaders -- with junior mid-fielder Tosha Wilson switched to goal keeper -- gave them one point out of a two-match weekend trip.
Madras rebounded from a loss, 2-1, Friday in Ontario.
Needing at least a tie against La Grande to give itself a chance at a home game in the district's upcoming playoffs, Madras shut out the district's highest scoring team.
Wilson was going to be the goal keeper for Madras at La Grande no matter what, head coach Mike Osborne explained.
"I had decided the second game of the trip was going to be a good time to give Elise (Hawes) a day off as goal keeper any way," said Osborne. Having Hawes turn in strong games only to be nipped by a goal when opportunities went unconverted by the Madras offense was something he did not want to have take any kind of emotional toll on Hawes, Osborne said.
The move paid dividends. While two dozen La Grande shots whistled toward Wilson, the Madras defense, helped by Hawes being in the field, reduced the number of attacks La Grande launched from nearly 45 in this season's first game between the teams. La Grande remained in a battle for the division title with The Dalles, at 5-0-2, after being tied.
Madras joined second-place The Dalles in becoming a team which LaGrande has not swept. Madras will host The Dalles Monday, Oct. 22, after losing a 2-0 game with it earlier.
"There field is short and fast. The girls should have an advantage playing at home this time," Osborne said.
Madras went with other position changes against La Grande in addition to putting Wilson in goal.
Cutting down their mistakes was a "team effort" by the White Buffalos, according to Osborne.
Friday's 2-1 loss could have come out in Madras favor as well. Tied 1-1 at halftime, Madras had chances to get a second goal at Ontario, only to have a rebound off a hard struck ball which Hawes deflected initially wind up in good position for a shot which Ontario converted.