Tiger girls knock off No. 7 Philomath
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
The No. 7-ranked Philomath Warriors were a good test for the No. 10 La Grande girls' soccer team Saturday.
The Tigers had not played a ranked team since their 4-0 loss to defending state champion Catlin Gabel Sept. 15.
Alexis Baum's hat trick plus Crystal Kevan's goal gave the Tigers a 4-1 non-league victory over Philomath.
"Well, it's a win-win situation," La Grande coach Alex Steenstra said.
He said the level of competition was better than most of the Eastern Oregon teams and it was a good bounce from the last time the Tigers (6-1 overall) faced a ranked team.
The Warriors did not go away quietly. They had 12 shots in the game.
"Philomath is a tough team," Steenstra said. "So I knew we were in for a challenge. They responded to the challenge."
The defense held the Warriors to just two shots in the second half.
Steenstra said Kayla Arritola played a good game on defense and slowed down the Warriors whenever they got the ball deep.
Baum booted her first goal off an assist from Kevan in the 20th minute. Five minutes later, Baum returned the favor, assisting on Kevan's goal.
The Warriors came right back with a goal towards the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Tigers kept up their pace of play and wore down the Warriors, Steenstra said.
He said Kevan was wreaking havoc all over the field.
"I thought we played well composed," Steenstra added.
He said he is pleased even though it was not a perfect game.
"It was exciting. Fun and exciting," said Steenstra.
Megan Sherer assisted on Baum's second goal in the 6th minute of the second half.
Baum scored an unassisted goal with her back to the net, turning quickly to the right and booted it right into the net in the 17th minute.
The Tigers had 20 shots in the game.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Boardman to face Riverside Saturday.