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Viking girls battle, but lose to McMinnville 4-1

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove forward Sophie Davis takes a shot on the McMinnville goal during Forest Grove's 4-1 loss Wednesday night. 
Same song, ninth verse, Vikings bow to offensive curse.

Once again, the Forest Grove girls soccer squad (1-9-1) matched an opponent in shots-on-goal but couldn't buy a victory, as McMinnville prevailed 4-1 at Dick Hendricks Field on Wednesday.

“These girls never give up, never give up, no matter what the score,” said Viking coach Nacho Olvera after the game. “We dominated McMinnville tonight, and I don’t want the girls feeling down about the loss,” he said. The Vikings are now 1-3-1 in Greater Valley league play.

McMinnville (3-6-1) controlled the pace for the first half but Viking speedster Sophie Davis catalyzed the home crowd racing into the box and, despite two defenders crashing into her, released a shot that missed the right goal post by six inches. “When they collided on me, I didn’t have time to get off as good a shot as I would have liked,” Davis said.

The Lady Grizzlies soon struck as Jazmin Rojas broke through a cluster of Viking defenders to send a hard 8-yard shot to the net for a 1-0 lead. At the 27-minute mark, Viking goalie Atziri Cruz came out of the box to challenge a McMinnville attacker, who then flicked the ball to Rojas for another quick score.

And the visitors were not finished, as Shaylynn Miller hurled a textbook-perfect, throw-in to Tori Fox who tapped the ball for a 3-0 halftime margin.

A rejuvenated Forest Grove club shocked McMinnville in the second half, when freshman Alivia Glynn dashed 30 yards down the right sideline, caught a pass and booted a 25-yard meteor over Grizzly goal keeper Kassidy Zinda’s head, for a 3-1 score. Two minutes later, referees penalized rough Grizzly play, and awarded Sophie Davis a penalty kick, but Zinda got enough fingers on it to block.

Vikings midfielder Rosa Cortez-Alvarez briefly got open in the McMinnville box, but Zinda careened into her before Cortex-Alvarez could release a shot. The Grizzlies then counter-attacked 80 yards down the field but new Viking goalie Hailey Peterson stymied the shot attempt. The referees issued a yellow card to one frustrated Grizzly, but Forest Grove could not convert that into new offensive momentum. McMinnville’s Haley McMillan scored a final goal with 22 seconds remaining.

The Vikings’ Oct. 10 game against Sprague was cancelled and will replayed Monday at Sprague. Forest Grove also plays Tuesday in Salem against McKay.