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The title is so close they can taste it


La Salle coeds improve to 7-0-0 with a 1-0 win over Molalla

The La Salle Falcons played their hearts out for 80 minutes and earned a 1-0 win over Molalla on Oct. 15, all but locking up their first league title in girls soccer since 2008.

The win put the Falcons at 7-0-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference, comfortably in front of defending state and league champion Gladstone (5-1-1) with but three league games remaining.

La Salle was to meet Gladstone on Oct. 21. The Falcons then finish up the regular season playing Madras (0-5-2) this Thursday and hosting Estacada (2-3-2) next Tuesday. In first round league games, La Salle defeated Gladstone 2-0, Madras 5-0 and Estacada 3-1.

The Falcons (9-2-0) recorded seven shutouts and they allowed opponents just seven goals in their first 11 league games.

The Falcons made an early goal by senior Joslynn Bigelow stand up in last week's win over the Indians.

Just three minutes into the contest, freshman midfielder Bailey Higgins was fouled. Bigelow took the direct kick from around 40 yards out. The shot deflected off the goalie's hand and into the upper corner of the net.

“Again, our defensive unit played smart and strong all 80 minutes,” said La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino. “They have been a huge part of our success this year.”

Holding the line on defense were Bigelow, junior Natalie Stone, sophomore Talya Holenstein and senior Yoshi Higuera, Cereghino said.

Cereghino also heaped praise on sophomore forward Regan Russell:

“She applied strong pressure on Molalla's defense and ran down every ball in her area, whether she was going to win it or not. This mentality and pressure resulted in extra throw-ins and corner kicks. It was one of the best games I have seen Regan play.”

Senior Sydney Chvilicek was in-goal for La Salle. Cereghino had her with three saves.

La Salle was seventh in the OSAA power rankings entering play this week. Gladstone, Molalla, Estacada and Madras were ranked ninth, thirteenth, twenty-ninth and thirty-seventh respectively.