MHS girls soccer work to draw

Buffs don't score, don't allow any goals
Sometimes in the game of soccer, a tie can feel like a win.
   In the case of the Madras girls soccer team's 0-0 tie with Estacada on Tuesday, it was just that.
   "The outcome was a positive for us," head coach Mike Osborne said. "We played pretty well, especially defensively. It was an improvement over the last time we played them."
   The White Buffalos lost to the Rangers, 2-0, in their previous meeting, but Osborne said the team has made quite a bit of progress from where they have been in the past.
   "We've come a long way since the middle of August," he said. "We have five freshman and six girls who haven't played high school soccer."
   Osborne said players like Mariah Stacona and Itzel Romero have been the most consistent players practice to practice, while the team as a whole has been pretty easy to coach.
   He also said the Olivera twins, sophomores Melissa and Stephanie, along with Inex Jones have been playing well and making improvements every time they get on the field.
   "With this team, there's not a lot of drama or lack of effort," he said. "They come to practice and work hard. We haven't dealt with poor attitudes or kids quitting this year like we have in the past. This group is willing to work at it."
   With the tie, the Buffs' overall record moves to 3-7-1. They were recently awarded a win by forfeit in the second match of the season against Redmond. While Redmond won that match, 6-1, they used an ineligible player. It was reported to the OSAA and the Panthers had to forfeit the game to the Buffs.
   All three wins, however, came in nonconference play. The Buffs have yet to break through in the win column during Tri-Valley Conference play, and with four matches remaining, Osborne said the team is just focused on improving during the last two weeks.
   "We knew we'd be a little overmatched in relation to our league because it's a very tough league," Osborne said. "We haven't given up though, and we've been making strides and not having bad attitudes."
   Mathematically, the Buffs aren't out of the playoff race, but they are going to have to win their next four matches in order to qualify.
   The results from Tuesday's match in Gladstone against the league-leading Gladiators weren't available by the Pioneer's press deadline.
   The Buffs host North Marion at 4 p.m. Tuesday.