The Gophers hold off a hard-charging Barlow squad in the second half to claim a 2-1 win Tuesday night

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Amber Peschka cuts in front of a Barlow forward to win a ball during Tuesdays 2-1 victory over the Bruins.

The Gresham girls soccer team struck twice in the first half and held off persistent pressure over the final 40 minutes to get past Barlow 2-1 on Tuesday night.

The Gophers went ahead 2-0 at the half on goals by Aileen Cruz-Velasco and Staci Tatum.

The Bruins controlled the ball in Gresham’s end for most of the second half, eventually breaking onto the scoreboard when the Gophers were called for a hand ball in the 18-yard box. Barlow’s Bethany Leliefeld sent a penalty shot to the lower right side. Gresham goalie Melissa Smith guessed right and got her fingertips on the shot, but it wasn’t enough to keep the ball out of the net.

Barlow had several chances to score the equalizer through the last five minutes — the last coming off a corner kick with 0:30 on the clock. Kerri Cook sent the ball across the mouth of the goal, and Leliefeld rose above a crowd and connected with a header only to see the ball spin wide left.

“They put a lot of pressure on us and kept us on our heels,” Gresham coach Kathy Childress said. “We had some girls banged up coming in to tonight, and they played on sheer guts.”

Gresham (8-3-0) sits third in the Mount Hood Conference heading into Thursday’s regular-season finale at David Douglas. But the Gophers would move up a spot on the ladder with a win, because the league’s top two teams Central Catholic and St. Mary’s are facing each other.

Look for extended match coverage in the Friday, Oct. 26, edition of The Outlook.

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