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Members of the La Grande girls soccer team celebrate after scoring what would ultimately be the only goal scored by either team in the Class 4A state semifinal game against North/Bend/Oregon Coast Techology Tuesday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
La Grande girls soccer team moves on to state championship game
North Bend/Oregon Coast Technology goalkeeper Kadie Forderer will be haunted by one mistake in an otherwise perfect game.
The Bulldogs goalkeeper entered the Class 4A state championship game allowing eight goals on the season, but none proved more costly than the only one that found the back of the net during a 1-0 loss to La Grande in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Senior Haley White was in the right place at the right time in the 11th minute.
Forderer attempted to clear the ball away from the goal, but White stole the pass. The Bulldog sophomore keeper tried to cut off White’s angle to the net, but White took the shot and hit the far corner to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
“It caught me offguard, though. I wasn’t expecting the ball to come right at me,” White said. “I knew that I needed to do something with the ball. That’s why we like to pressure the goalie in that situation. You force them to make a play, and play, that’s what we were able to do.”
The Tigers dominated play throughout the first half.
North Bend/Oregon Coast Technology did have one chance, and found the back of the net. But, the goal was called off due to an offside infraction.
“We did a great job possessing the ball,” La Grande head coach Sam Brown said. “The girls moved the ball where they needed to, and kept (the Bulldogs) out of our end.”
That wouldn’t be the case in the second half.
North Bend/Oregon Coast Technology started to find a few holes in the offense in the final 10 minutes of play.
Kailin Carley nearly got the Bulldogs on the board when her shot locked in on the Tigers’ net.
“I knew I just needed to backpedal and get into position,” goalkeeper Auslin McDaniel-Perrin said.
La Grande’s Sarah Rassmussen posses the ball during the Tigers 1-0 win against North Bend/Oregon Coast Technology Tuesday in the state semifinals. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
McDaniel-Perrin reached up just as the ball went off the crossbar and out of play.
“We knew they weren’t going to give us anything,” Brown said. “They’re a very good team. We expected a very even matchup, and that’s what we got. The ball just went our way.”
La Grande had chances to put the game away too. A shot by Clara Gandy sailed just over the cross bar, and Erin Bodfish narrowly missed a chip-in.
“Kadie is a great goalie,” Brown said. “She made some great plays to keep her team in the game. It would have been nice to get some breathing room late in the game, but she wasn’t going to let that happen. We’re just fortunate she made the one mistake in the first half.”
While Forderer was making plays in her goal, McDaniel-Perrin was just as busy on her end.
“I kept screaming to clear the ball out as quick as we could,” McDaniel-Perrin said. “I didn’t want some freak thing to happen on our end and see the game come down to penalty kicks.”
The final whistle sounded and the fans who gave the game a south of the border feel, chanting ole, ole, ole, most of the second half stormed the field to greet the victorious Tigers.
“It was our goal as seniors to make it to the championship game,” White said. “It’s an amazing thing to be able to play for a state title. Now we just need to go out and win one more game to complete this dream season.”
La Grande will play Scappoose in the championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.