La Grande’s Jasmine Smith had a hat trick Thursday in the Lady Tigers’ 3-0 victory over McLoughlin. The Lady Tigers are 7-0 this year and ranked No. 4 by the OSAA. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
The La Grande girls soccer team was held to its lowest goal total of the season Thursday against McLoughlin.
But the outcome was the same as it has been the previous six times the Lady Tigers took the pitch this season.
LHS defeated the visiting Pioneers 3-0 to improve to 7-0 overall this year and 4-0 in the Greater Oregon League.
“Defensively it was another stout performance,” coach Sam Brown said. “We’re very protective about not getting scored on.”
The Pioneers were able to keep the Lady Tigers scoreless for the first 35 minutes of the game. LHS missed out on a scoring opportunity in the 28th minute when the ball was bouncing around in front of the net, then a Kayla Rasmussen shot ricocheted off the goal keeper’s hands and off the cross bar at the 32nd minute.
But the Lady Tigers are a relentless bunch.
LHS finally put one past the keeper in the 36th minute when Jasmine Smith lined a shot into the top-right corner of the goal, putting La Grande on top 1-0. Six minutes later Smith added another goal from deep, sailing it from the right side of the pitch and sticking it inside the left post to make it 2-0.
“McLoughlin’s goal keeper did a fantastic job,” Brown said. “But I was really pleased with out effort.”
Ten minutes into the second half Smith completed the hat trick and put her team up 3-0. Two Haily White goals were negated due to offsides calls by the official.
Auslin McDaniel and Megan Baldwin worked the net for the Lady Tigers. Baldwin blocked a McLoughlin penalty kick late in the second half to preserve the shutout.
“I love it,” Brown said of the blocked kick.
La Grande is ranked No. 4 in the latest OSAA poll, while GOL rival Ontario (6-1) is No. 3.
LHS handed Ontario its lone loss earlier this season. La Grande will host OHS Oct. 11 at 2 p.m.
Mazama and Scappoose are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively in the poll.