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La Grande senior Haley White prepares to set up a teammate during first-half action at Baker Tuesday.
La Grande caps perfect regular season against Bulldogs
BAKER CITY — La Grande put a cap on a perfect season, defeating Baker City 10-0 Tuesday to close out Greater Oregon League play with a 6-0-0 record.
“It feels amazing,” junior Erin Bodfish said. “We have some great athletes on this team. Plus, we have a really good coach (Sam Brown).
The Tigers hold the top spot in the OSAA rankings after completing a 13-0-0 season overall, allowing two goals while scoring 82.
“It all comes down to our practices,” Bodfish said. “Practicing against each other each day makes us better. We’re able to push each other to become better players on the field.
“It’s a big accomplishment to go undefeated. We’re also excited that the junior varsity team did the same. The soccer program is amazing.”
The Bulldogs (0-5-0 GOL, 1-9-1 overall) didn’t help themselves out from the start. Baker scored on its own goal after La Grande’s Avery Stanton sent a cross pass into the box three minutes into the match.
Haley White and the rest of the Tigers’ offense took it from there.
White, a senior, gave her team a 2-0 lead on a pass from Alissa Welberg.
“Haley is a great player,” Bodfish said. “She knows where to put the ball for others to score, and she can score on her own too.”
Ally Tsiatsos showed that perseverance pays off on La Grande’s third goal. The senior defender’s shot went off the crossbar, but she followed her shot and put it into the back of the net off the rebound.
Lexus Miller-Boylan finished with two goals.
Welberg, Jasmine Smith, Megan Baldwin, Kirsten Ward and Clara Gandy each finished with one goal.
Bodfish said even though the offense gets a lot of the credit for the success this season, the defense has been just as good.
“We have a great defense and goalie,” Bodfish said. “They just haven’t had as much action this season. There’s a lot of experience back there, and they can all handle the ball really well.
“Auslin (McDaniel-Perrin) is an amazing goalie. People just don’t get to see what she can really do very often. We’ll need that defense to keep playing well in the playoffs.”
The Tigers sit and wait for other teams to close out their seasons before finding out who they will host in the opening round of the state playoffs.
“We’re ready to get that part of our season going,” Bodfish said. “It’s what we’ve been waiting for all season. Our goal is to take it all.”
La Grande advanced to the quarterfinals last season, but lost to Philomath 4-0.