La Grande’s Lacey Miles moves the ball up the field at a recent game. The Tigers kept their hot streak going with a 1-0 win against Pendleton Friday. (Observer file)
It only took a brief second for the La Grande Tigers to get on the board against Pendleton in a 1-0 non-league win Saturday.
“We knew Pendleton was going to bring everything they had.” La Grande head coach Sam Brown said. “They had a couple players back that they didn’t have in the first match that we beat them.”
La Grande cruised in the last meeting a 4-0 win at Pendleton.
This time the defense had to come through and hold of a series of shots after a scoreless opening half.
The Tigers put five shots on goal in the opening half, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Pendleton mustered just one shot on goal in the opening half.
“We really pride ourselves on playing great defense,” senior Alora Brown said. “Our goal is to not give up anything. We have a great goalie and she doesn’t get tested very often. That’s how we like it.”
The Buckaroos did manage four shots on goal in the second half, but goalkeeper Auslin Perrin-McDaniel was there to turn them away.
La Grande has still only allowed two goals this season.
The Tigers’ aggressiveness paid off in the second half, allowing them to get on the board.
A long shot by Jasmine Smith rocketed of the hands of the Pendleton goalkeeper. It bounced less than three yards away, and Haley White was there to follow the shot.
“That’s why we preach following your shot,” Sam Brown said. “It’s something that we work on all the time.
“You never know when you’re going to have chances to get the ball in the net. You have to be ready when they arise.”
La Grande improves to 10-0 with the win, and is still 3-0 in Greater Oregon League play.
La Grande will finishes the season with three straight games on the road. The Tigers travel to Mac-Hi for a 4 p.m. match Tuesday.
“We just want to keep this going to get the best seed we can going into the playoffs.
Tigers grab win
The La Grande boys soccer team appears to be headed in the right direction after picking up its first back-to-back wins this season, improving to 3-6 overall this season.
The latest win, 3-2 over Pendleton Saturday, was a non-league contest.
The Tigers got things going quickly with a goal by Blaine Kreutz off the opening possession.
“It’s the quickest goal I’ve seen,” co-head coach Wade Wright said. “We had a few nice combos right off the start, and when Blaine puts it on goal, it’s going to be tough to stop.”
Kreutz added another goal in the first half, and Gus Whittington added a goal on a penalty kick.
The Buckaroos got on the board with a penalty kick and also scored on a corner kick in the first half.
All the scoring was done in the first half.
“It was a very physical game,” Wright said. “The boys really elevated their game today. We dominated the ball, and played fast paced. The composure was there and the boys communicated really well. We’ve been waiting to see that.”
La Grande travels to Mac-Hi for a 2 p.m. match Tuesday.