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The Observer paper 11/21/14

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Mac-Hi too much for shorthanded La Grande

The Mac-Hi boys soccer team is tough enough to beat without playing shorthanded, but that’s what La Grande attempted to do Thursday.

The defense finally broke in the second half, with Mac-Hi emerging with a 2-0 non-league win.

Four minutes into the opening half, senior goalie Jake Girard dove and clipped a Mac-Hi player in the goal box. Immediately the official brought out the red card and Girard was sent to the sidelines for the rest of the game. He will also miss the next game for La Grande for receiving  a red card.

“It’s tough to lose a player like that, and that quick,” Tigers co-head coach Wade Wright said. “We played a man down for three quarters of a game. (Mac-Hi) doesn’t need any help and we gave them some.”

That meant sophomore Josh Ebel had to fill in behind goal, and Wright said he’s not even the backup goalie.

“Our backup played junior varsity and wasn’t available,” Wright said. “We knew Josh had a little experience in that position. He did an amazing job. Both goals against him were not his fault. I don’t think any goalie stops those.”

The Tigers had a chance to get on the board early, but a shot of a drop pass went over the net.

“If we get on the board there, it’s a different game,” Wright said. “We had some chances but just didn’t quite capitalize the way we wanted to.” 

Gerardo Robles and Alex Saldana had a goal each for the Pioneers. The Pioneers improved to 3-0 this season.

La Grande (1-1) will host Ontario at 4 p.m. Thursday. 

Lady Tigers maul Mac-Hi in non-league match-up

La Grande struck hard and quick in the opening half of an 8-0 blowout win against Mac-Hi Thursday.

The Tigers led 2-0 after the opening eight minutes of play, and had several more opportunities to score during  that span.

 Jasmine Smith finished with four goals with three coming in the first half. Something the senior has been waiting for after not scoring in the previous two games.

“She does so many things well for us, I didn’t worry about it,” La Grande head coach Sam Brown said. “She’s pretty low key, so I don’t think it bothered her too much. Jasmine has a strong leg and can score from 30 yards out. She’ll get her goals.

Junior Avery Stanton added a pair of goals. 

Ally Tsiatsos and Sarah Rasmussen rounded out the scoring with a goal each.

“I thought the team came out focused,” Brown said. “They remembered the loss last season and didn’t want that to happen again. It was good to see the girls remembered what happened last season.”

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