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Lady Lions make it a battle with Wildcats
St. Helens trails by just one goal until four minutes to go in match
The St. Helens Lady Lions arent awed by anyone in the Northwest Oregon Conference soccer race this season.
Although they lost to now-seventh-ranked Wilsonville, 2-1, on Thursday, the Lady Lions made it a battle.
Coach Simon Date thought that St. Helens might have a chance against the Wildcats.
We knew going into the game it was going to be a good game, he said. The jayvee teams battled it out and despite the scoreline (we lost 3-0) it was a fairly close game. All year the jayvee team has been a good yard-stick for how the varsity team fares, so we knew we could hang with them.
St. Helens was giving as good as it got in the early going. After that initial spell we invited them forward a little too much. That said, this was our best team defensive game I have seenwith the exception of the Hermiston game. Seniors Alex Vaughn and Regan Duarte had their best games for us all year. (Goalkeeper) Dana (Sukau) came up with some great saves, and Chelsee Rennie and Stevie (Strawn) outside were constantly up and down the flanks doing their defensive duties as well.
Despite their efforts, St. Helens found themselves down 1-0 at halftime.
We talked about staying composed and compact at half-time, and to expect another initial burst of energy from Wilsonville, Date said, and it came, and we handled it very well. 1-0 is a tough lead to maintain, and you could tell they were certainly more anxious than we were.
The Lady Lions kept the game close, but with 15 minutes to go Wilsonville scored off a corner kick to take a 2-0 lead.
This was the only time I was frustrated with the team, Date noted. We practiced defending and attacking corner kicks and set plays, and we consistently let our guard down last night. Well work on that and get it right.
Date said the team threw caution to the wind with about 10 minutes to go and pulled a defender (up front), leaving Nicole Hamilton and Alexandria Vaughn on their own in the back against two forwards. That put Sydney Nett up front with Genesis Hansen and Ashley Giesbers.
Nett had scored against Woodburn under similar circumstances.
This time Giesbers went down the left side and crossed a ball that passed Hamilton, but Nett was able to volley it home.
Date said the score left Wilsonville a little freaked out and both teams were in furious action all over the field in the closing moments.
I was disappointed how we lost (on a corner kick), but could not have been more proud of the way the girls stepped up and took on the No. 6 team in the state, Date added. Wilsonville was a state finalist last season.
St. Helens hosted Liberty on Tuesday evening. Liberty went into the game ranked eighth. The Lady Lions are at Parkrose on Thursday and host Sandy this coming Tuesday.
The NWOC only plays a single round robin this year. Four of the eight teams are ranked in the top 10 in state currently with another 12th and St. Helens 22nd. The top 24 will advance to state (top eight) or make the play-in round.
St. Helens at Parkrose
Milwaukie at Sandy
Putnam at Liberty
Wilsonville at Sherwood
Wilsonville at Putnam
Sherwood at Liberty
Sandy at St. Helens
Milwaukie at Parkrose
St. Helens at Sherwood
Parkose at Wilsonville
Liberty at Sandy
Putnam at Milwaukie
Putnam at St. Helens
Sherwood at Sandy
Liberty at Parkrose
Milwaukie at Wilsonville