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La Grandeís Alora Brown, center, splits a pair of McLoughlin defenders in the first half of the Lady Tigersí 3-2 win Tuesday. LHS improved to 7-0-0 with the win. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
La Grande girls eek out win over McLoughlin
The La Grande girls soccer team’s shutout streak came to an end Tuesday, but Lexus Miller-Moylan made sure the Lady Tigers kept their win streak alive.
With the match tied at 2-all with three minutes left in regulation, Miller-Moylan hit a hard shot past a diving goalkeeper to give
La Grande a 3-2 victory in the Greater Oregon League showdown.
“We played OK,” LHS head coach Sam Brown said. “It was not our best performance of the season. We looked a little sleepy at the beginning. Just not quite there today.”
The Lady Tigers (7-0-0, 2-0-0) got on the board in the 18th minute of the first half when Clara Gandy pooched a free kick over the goalkeeper’s head from 25 yards out. Haley White made it a 2-0 LHS lead in the 36th minute when she beat the Pioneers defense and tapped the ball into the goal.
But McLoughlin struck just two minutes into the second half when Veronica Garcia beat the LHS defense and slipped the ball inside the far post to make it 2-1.
La Grande had outscored opponents 42-0 entering Tuesday’s game.
The Pioneers (3-4-0, 1-1-0) tied the match in the 26th minute of the second half when Kristi Childers’ shot went over goalkeeper Auslin McDaniel’s head.
“They did what they do every time we play them,” Brown said. “They up the intensity and figure out how to get it in the goal and that builds them up.”
La Grande went on the offensive after that, missing high on a couple of shots. But with the clock ticking down, Erin Bodfish found Miller-Moylan, who struck from 15-yards out and got it past the keeper to put the Lady Tigers in front for
“We just kind of worked as a team to get the ball back,” Miller-Moylan said. “It was a really nice assist by Erin. I just kind of kicked it as hard as I could and it went in.”
Miller-Moylan said that when the Pioneers tied the game, the Lady Tigers played with more of a sense of urgency.
“It put us in check a little bit,” she said. “We got a little scared. We were kind of like, ‘Oh, we really gotta focus.’ We went back to the fundamentals of soccer. We kind of just worked back as a team.”
The closest games
“It’s a game we needed Brown said. “It was a much-needed close game.”
Miller-Moylan thinks it will help LHS down the road.
“We’re definitely going to see competition like that later on,” Miller-Moylan said. “It’s good for us. It’s definitely a wake-up call, and we’re going to have to get used to it.”
La Grande returns to the pitch Tuesday at Ontario.