Braves battle tough in loss to Valiants
Valley Catholic needs most of match to turn 1-0 lead into 5-0 win
Sometimes a score does not tell everything about a game.
Last Thursday, the Banks girls soccer team dropped a 5-0 decision to Valley Catholic at Kelly Field.
That doesnt sound like all that close of a match.
But the Braves actually did fight well much of the way against the Valiants, the reigning Class 4A state champions. After the visitors scored once early, they didnt get any more goals until the final quarter-hour or so of the contest.
One-nothing at halftime we actually felt pretty good about, Banks coach Brian Reed said, referencing the score after 40 minutes. Minutes 40 through 60 we won. We didnt score, but as far as possession and playing on their part of the field, we won minutes 40 through 60, so I was feeling really good at 1-0.
Valley Catholics first goal came just a couple minutes into the match, when Reilly Blood wove through the Banks defense and sent a shot past keeper Lucy Plews.
But there the score line stayed for the better part of an hour and in the meantime, Banks (2-2-1, 1-1 Cowapa) had some chances, too.
In the first half, one of the best opportunities for the Braves came about 20 minutes in, when defender Cassie Streblow went up to the Valiants final third to take a free kick. Her shot from distance was on target and forced Noelle Mannen to make a save.
While Mannen allowed a rebound, no Braves were close enough to pounce on it, so Mannen was able to corral the ball.
A turning point in the match came around the 60-minute mark, when Kim Jordan was tripped up by a Valley Catholic defender in the penalty area, but the referee did not call for a penalty kick.
Had that been called, a successful penalty would have knotted the game, and who knows what influence that might have had on the final result. Instead, the Valiants (3-2-1) finally broke through for four goals late in the match to seal the victory.
At that point, we still had the momentum. We really had some good momentum, Reed said. Especially the last 10 minutes but in the last 20 minutes overall, their fitness and skill just kind of took over. We didnt give up, we just ran out of gas. I really was pleased with the effort.
The loss evened up the Braves Cowapa League record at 1-1 after they drubbed Tillamook 7-0 at home last Tuesday in a match that was even less competitive than the score indicates. Banks scored all seven of its goals in the first 30 minutes. In a sporting gesture, Reed continued to pull players off the field throughout the game to avoid running up the score. Banks finished the match playing 8-on-11.
Samantha Pestner scored just a few minutes into the contest for the game-winner, and Lauren Hill recorded a hat trick by about the 10-minute mark. Matches against the Cheesemakers have typically been quite a bit closer, and Reed was quite cognizant about the disparity.
I was looking forward to actually really getting on Tillamook, Reed said. But once we saw what they had, it was unfortunate.
Results of Tuesdays game against Scappoose were unavailable at press deadline. Next up, the Braves travel to the Warrenton Soccer Complex on Thursday night to take on Astoria before hosting Seaside next Tuesday to wrap up the first half of league play. After that, they travel to Cottage Grove on Oct. 10 for a nonleague contest.