Members of the La Grande girls soccer team admitted they didn’t play their best and were lacking energy in the team’s regular season home finale against Nyssa.
It hardly mattered.
Katie Perry scored two early goals, and the Tigers recorded their fifth straight shutout with a 2-0 win Tuesday over the visiting Bulldogs.
“We weren’t playing with as much energy as we would have liked,” Perry said. “We need to work on our first touches, but we won, which with these (nonleague) games, that’s what matters.”
Perry gave La Grande all the offense it needed in the ninth minute. The sophomore took a pass from Lexee Gomes at the top of the box, dribbled in and connected for a goal and the early lead. She added a goal on a penalty kick in the 11th minute.
“They gave me a good ball in the middle, and I kind of had a little bit on (the defense) and I just had to place it with my left foot,” Perry said.
The Tigers coasted from there, and controlled every aspect of the game. La Grande possessed the ball at a high rate which not only limited Nyssa’s changes, but in fact kept the Bulldogs from even attempting an official shot.
“It’s really all teamwork, and with the defense we’re really good at communicating and getting the ball up the field, and the offense is really good at possessing,” goalkeeper Faith Akers said.
“I think shutouts like this are what gets us ready for playoffs.”
Nyssa’s only legitimate scoring chances — which came on a pair of second-half corner kicks — were both turned away by the defense.
Head coach Kristen Rice added that the team could have played better in some aspects, but was still pleased with the end result.
“We got the W, and that’s all that matters to me,” she said. “It’s always nice to have a clean sheet at home.”
La Grande outshot Nyssa, 20-0, and had eight shots on goal. The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs was goalkeeper Cynthia Gonzalez, who had eight saves.
The Tigers (11-0-0 overall) wrap up the regular season Saturday with a Greater Oregon League match at Ontario.