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Gladstone coeds shut out Molalla


The defending state champs close in on the TVC title

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Trailed by a host of players, Gladstone senior forward Amber Jensen (19) makes a run in last weeks 2-0 win over sixth-ranked Molalla.Defense continued to play a pivotal role for Gladstone last week, as the third-ranked Gladiators tightened their grip on first place in Tri-Valley Conference girls soccer with a 2-0 shutout of sixth-ranked Molalla.

The win avenged an earlier 1-1 tie with the Indians and it put the Gladiators (5-0-1, 16 points) six points ahead of TVC title pretenders Molalla (3-2-1, 10 points) and La Salle (3-2-1, 10 points), which were tied for second place, with four league games remaining.

It was the eighth shutout of the season for the defending state champion Gladiators (8-1-1 overall), who have allowed opponents just two goals in their first 10 games.

Gladstone starting keeper Molly Webster was back in-goal for the showdown with the Indians, after sitting out three games with a concussion. But Webster had little work to do, as defenders Taylor Plunkett, Mikaela Simac, Victoria Finley and Julia Schumacher limited the Indians’ scoring opportunities.

“Molly made one nice save early in the second half, but other than that, she wasn’t tested,” said Gladstone coach Steve Thomas. “Taylor, Mikaela, Victoria and Julia aren’t giving up a lot of shots, and Grace Kersting had a great game as a defensive midfielder.”

Coach Thomas said he believes that Molalla offensive star Claire Thomas got off only one shot, thanks to the play of Gladstone defenders.

Thomas had his Gladiators with a 23-6 advantage in shots taken and a 15-3 advantage in shots on-frame.

Still the Indians made a game of it, playing Gladstone to a scoreless tie in the first half.

Gladstone junior forward Kelsey Hathaway broke the ice, putting the first ball in the net 17 minutes into the second period.

Madi Cronin put the ball in play with a throw-in from the defensive end, Amber Jensen flicked the ball ahead to Hathaway, who tapped the ball past a defender, picked it up again and beat two more defenders before firing the ball inside the far post from around 15 yards out.

The second goal came just three minutes later. Kendall Schumaker stole the ball near midfield and passed it to Hathaway. Things opened up as Jensen made a run without the ball, taking two defenders with her. Hathaway then beat one defender one-on-one and blasted the ball inside the far post from 18 yards out for a 2-0 Gladiator lead.

“Amber won’t get an assist, but she was the key to that goal,” Thomas said. “When the two defenders went with her, it opened things up for Kelsey.... Amber’s unselfish play has opened things up for other players all year....

“Amber is more than just a goal scorer. She’s a complete player. She’s a great passer and she has great field sense. She makes everyone around her better.”

The Gladiators face a big test next Monday, when they take on cross-town rival La Salle at La Salle. They entertain Estacada (2-5-2, 1-3-2) on Oct. 25 and they play at North Marion on Oct. 30. Then it’s on to postseason play.

The ninth-ranked La Salle Falcons last week dominated the game, but settled with a 1-1 tie in a home game with North Marion.

La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino had his side with a 34-6 advantage in shots taken.

“The game was controlled by La Salle...,” he said. “A few of our shots hit the posts, but not enough of those shots hit the back of the net. At the end of the day, we had plenty of opportunities to put this game away....”

The two teams played to a scoreless tie until Claire Primack found the net — off a pass from Amanda Byrne — in the second half.

North Marion answered, scoring off a penalty kick — after a push in the box — with 10 minutes to play.

Cereghino praised Primack: “Claire has played well this season. She has scored three goals in the last two games, and her movements off the ball have created numerous chances for her and her teammates.”

Kingsmen blank

the Pioneers 4-0

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen took care of business in Northwest Oregon Conference girls soccer last week, upending 12th-ranked Sandy 4-0.

The Kingsmen (5-2-1, 1-1) entered play this week ranked fourth in the state in Class 5A — back of Sherwood (7-0-2, 2-0), Summit (8-0-2, 4-0) and Corvallis (7-3, 3-0) — in the OSAA rankings. Wilsonville (5-3-0, 2-0) and Liberty (5-3-1, 1-1) of the NWOC were ranked seventh and eighth respectively.

“I think it’s pretty cool [being ranked fourth],” said Putnam senior captain Mariah Maier. “But I think we can play better [than we’ve been playing]. We have a lot of potential. We just need to show it.”

Still, Maier said she was pleased with the way her teammates played in last Thursday’s shutout of Sandy, their third shutout of the season.

“It was one of our better games this season,” she said. “All of the drama’s going away and we’re just trying to focus on soccer.”

She said that a group of loyal fans, who call themselves “super fans,” have helped the Kinsmen regain their focus.

“They’re great!” she said. “They’re a bunch of 30 to 40 fans, mostly football players, that come to our games and cheer really loud and go crazy. We really appreciate having them there. It’s a lot different from my freshman and sophomore years when we didn’t have anybody there.”

Mariah Maier and her classmate Maddie Makinster did much of the damage in last week’s match with the Pioneers, scoring two goals apiece. Makinster played a part in all four goals, scoring twice unassisted and assisting Maier on the other two goals.

The Kingsmen took charge early, with Makinster and Maier both putting the ball in the net inside the first 15 minutes. A second goal by Maier made it 3-0 at the half.

Maier said that junior keeper Bella Geist “made five or six saves,” as she notched her third shutout.

Maier praised freshman Rachel Baker for her efforts in the win: “Rachel did a really good job back at sweeper, shutting them down.”

The Kingsmen will be tested this Thursday, when they play Liberty on the road.

“Liberty will be tough,” Maier said. “But we’ve got to treat every opponent like they are going to be a big challenge. When we get big-headed, that’s when we get in trouble....”

The Kingsmen return home next Tuesday, hosting Wilsonville.

Clackamas coeds

stumble at Lakeridge

In Class 6A girls soccer, tenth-ranked Clackamas stumbled last week, losing 3-1 in an Oct. 9 Three Rivers League game at eighth-ranked Lakeridge.

The loss dropped the Cavaliers (4-2-1, 13 points) into a tie with seventh-ranked West Linn (4-2-1, 13 points) in second place in a heated race for supremacy in the TRL.

The win moved Lakeridge (5-2-0, 15 points) into first place, with three league games remaining. Fifth-ranked Lake Oswego (4-3-0, 12 points) was in fourth place, and 13th-ranked Canby (3-4-0, 9 points) was in fifth place.

Clackamas was to play Lakeridge on Tuesday (Oct. 16). The Cavaliers entertain Oregon City (0-7-0) this Thursday, and they conclude the regular season next Wednesday, when they travel to West Linn.

“It’s always a fun, close battle for first in league,” said Clackamas coach Aimee Mansoor. “I have always said that consistency is the key for CHS girls to win league. We are hoping to come out strong in our next three games and play to our potential and prepare as best we can for playoffs....

“It’s really about getting better and peaking at the right time. If we come out ready to play each game and the cards align themselves, then we will win the Three Rivers League.”

Claudia Flores scored Clackamas’ lone goal 26 minutes into the game in last week’s 3-1 loss at Lakeridge. The score was tied at 1-1 at halftime.

Mansoor commented: “We came out strong in the first half, but got scored on from a cross 15 minutes into the second half. After that, we stopped playing our game, and it was a game of kick and run....”

Mansoor had her Cavaliers with five shots on-frame and with four saves.