Buff girls give playoff foe a test
In a can't lose match, The Dalles had to work for a win at Madras in the Intermountain finale for both girls' soccer teams.
The EagleIndians needed a win or a tie to clinch a spot among the top four to advance to the 5A playoffs. A 3-1 victory allowed The Dalles to vault past Hermiston into the top four.
That victory came after rallying from an early deficit.
The White Buffalos scored first as Miriam Fisher booted a direct kick into The Dalles net from 20 yards out at the 27th minute. The shot went over the EagleIndian keeper's outstretched hands and below the crossbar.
"We controlled the ball a lot better in this match," Madras coach Phil Smith said. "We were making good passes to control the ball."
The Buffs had six shots in the first half while The Dalles had eight. One of those shots was in the middle of the box, converted into a goal at the 29th minute.
The visitors continued shooting in the second half, launching 13 shots. The Dalles scored at the 25th and 38th minutes of the second half.
Before each of those goals, Madras had great scoring chances. The Buffs launched a line-drive shot within the box at the 20th minute, deflected by the keeper to maintian the 1-all tie.
After The Dalles scored, Madras had a two-on-one with a shot deflecting off the keeper. A rebound shot was just wide.
"The score didn't reflect how close the match actually was," Smith said. "We played hard and stayed in the game. We had chances to score."
Madras switched keepers at halftime. Briana Stacona was in goal during the first half, making four saves. Kaylee Ramey made seven saves in the second half.
Madras finished the IMC season at 1-4-1. The Buffs were 3-10-1 overall while facing seven teams bound for the playoffs.
"We showed some improvement as the season went along," Smith said. "We were passing and communicating better."