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Late surge comes up empty for Gophers


Sienna Li scores the nights only goal in St. Marys 1-0 win

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Bailey Allen prepares to make a throw-in deep in the St. Marys end of the field during the second half of Tuesdays 1-0 loss to the Blues.

PORTLAND — Gresham girls soccer coach Kathy Childress finally got what she wanted out of her team in the waning moments Tuesday night — a sense of urgency. But a series of late rushes to the goal failed to produce anything on the scoreboard, leaving the Gophers with a 1-0 loss to St. Mary’s.

Looking for the equalizer throughout the second half, the Gophers suffers some near-misses over the final 10 minutes. The best opportunity came when a ball was played into the box with 6:28 on the clock. Three Gophers surged forward, but St. Mary’s goalie Nesha Eaton found her way through the crowd of blue shirts and went into the air to pull down the dangerous ball on one bounce.

The Blues appeared ready to seal the victory after being awarded a goal kick with about a half-minute to play. But the Gophers were going to fight to the final whistle.

Gresham midfielder Alexa Cooper tracked down the kick and headed the ball back into the Blues’ zone where teammate Bailey Allen ran onto it and dribbled down the right side before crossing the ball into a crowd at the mouth of the goal. The Gophers’ Amber Peschka lifted her cleat and deflected the ball toward the net only to watch Eaton make a quick lunge to the turf, covering it up just in front of the goal line.

“Our work rate was lacking,” Childress said. “We got after it over those last five minutes, but we need to do that for the whole game. On the ball we were working hard, but we need more effort away from the ball.”

The loss was the first in league for the Gophers (2-1-0), who host reigning MHC co-champion Central Catholic on Thursday night.

St. Mary’s scored the game’s only goal in the closing minutes of the first half when Emily Lang dinged the crossbar, and teammate Sienna Li put away the rebound.

Look for extended match coverage in the Friday, Sept. 21, edition of The Outlook.

View a photo gallery of this match at …