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La Grande’s Lexus Miller-Moylan races past an Ontario defender during the first half of a 10-0 win Thursday. (Paul Harder/The Observer)
It wasn’t so much the technical side of the game that the Tigers showcased against Ontario Thursday.
La Grande domintated the Tigers from down Interstate-84 with sheer speed during a 10-0 mercy-rule shortened victory at home.
“We’ve been hoping to get (a mercy rule win) since the season started,” senior forward Haley White said. “It’s a tough thing to do.”
Nearly all of the Tigers’ track and field relay teams play on the pitch.
“It’s nice to have that speed out there,” White said. “We can do a lot of different things out there that other teams might not be able to do. It allows us to switch the sides of the field really quick and get down the sidelines, too.
“Plus, it helps our defense, too. We have speed back there that can cover up some mistakes.”
Seniors Alora Brown and Ally Tsiatsos are the relay members playing defense for the Tigers.
It didn’t matter who was on the field, as fans witnessed in the second half of the match.
Freshman Lacey Miles opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, to put
She then took a pass from White to end the game.
“It’s amazing to see how far she’s come,” senior midfielder Jasmine Smith said. “To see the younger kids come off the bench and play well. That’s what we like to see.”
Smith helped the cause in the first half with a pair of goals.
The second goal, off a throw in, showed off the powerful leg that La Grande head coach Sam Brown has been itching to see put balls in the back of the net.
After a few long strides, Smith let loose a kick from 25 yards out that went over the Ontario goal keeper for the final score in the first half.
“I try not to worry about the scoring,” Smith said. “We have so many good players on this team, it’s not about one person.
“It’s good to start seeing the shots go into the net though. Sometimes it’s not going to go in. I just had to work on getting on top of the ball more consistently.”
Miles, Smith and Melissa Welberg each finished with a pair of goals in the game.
La Grande (4-0) will travel to Pendleton for a 1 p.m. match Saturday.
The Tigers are 1-0 against Class 5A schools this season, defeating Hermiston 4-0 to open the season.
La Grande boys
Shorthanded already with goalie Jake Girard out for the game because of a red card against Mac-Hi last week, the La Grande boys soccer team lost another player due to undisclosed team infractions before Thursday’s game.
That left the burden on the younger squad, and they couldn’t keep up with Ontario during a 7-1 non-league loss.
“We were missing a few players,” La Grande co-head coach Wade Wright said. “Plus, we were sluggish from the start of the game. We’re constantly juggling lineups.”
The bright spot came on a freshmen connection from Efrain Rivas to Lewis Wright, the lone goal for
The Tigers are now 1-3 overall and will travel to Baker (1-4) for a 4 p.m. match Tuesday. LHS returns home Oct. 1.