>Crook County jumps out to big first half lead, then holds on for 4-3 victory
Tuesday afternoon, the Crook County Cowgirl soccer team rolled out to a big first half lead, then held off a late La Pine rally to earn their first win of the season.
   The Cowgirls jumped out to a 3-0 first half lead, and led 4-0 early in the second half. However, the Hawks came storming back to score three second-half goals of their own. In spite of the late Hawk rally the Cowgirls were able to squeak out a 4-3 victory.
   “We stopped running,” said head coach Rich Abrams. “They got a goal off of a corner kick and after that they were coming at us pretty strong. We stopped defending with a purpose and let them back in the game.”
   The Cowgirls got on the board first when Jena Ovens took a perfect crossing pass from Maddie Lindburg and drove the ball into the back of the net. Minutes later, Lindburg took a centering pass from Miranda Smith. Turning quickly, Lindburg took a shot with her left foot, surprising the goalie — and the Cowgirls led 2-0.
   Late in the half, Smith earned her second assist of the game on a corner kick which Britney Herber put in the back of the net.
   The Cowgirls struck again just 48 seconds into the second half as Smith passed the ball to Ovens, who scored her second goal of the match.
   “With coach Abrams we are learning the fundamentals of soccer,” Ovens said. “I think our team has improved immensely from last year. I’m just very happy about the way that we played.”
   To La Pine’s credit, they refused to quit. Ten minutes into the half, the Hawks earned their first goal off of a corner kick. The ball was initially stopped by the Cowgirls, but they failed to clear the ball out of the middle and a La Pine player eventually was able to score.
   Then La Pine added a pair of late scores to make final score close.
   In spite of the let down Abrams was still pleased with the Cowgirls overall performance.
   “We were doing real well,” he said. “We continued to get scoring opportunities the rest of the game. We just couldn’t put them in.”
   Abrams was also pleased that the Cowgirls are beginning to develop some depth. The Cowgirls were able to overpower the Hawks in their JV?matchup, taking a 12-0 win.
   “They haven’t lost a match yet,” Abrams said proudly. “They tied their first match, then won their second.”
   Crook County (1-1) opened Intermountain Hybrid Conference play on Thursday with a home match against Mountain View.
   The Cowgirls are at home again on Tuesday, Sept. 25, when they host the Bend Lava Bears in a 4:30 p.m. match.
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