LA GRANDE — Four of La Grande’s girls soccer players were named to the 4A all-state team.
Junior Audrey Garlitz was selected to the first-team all-state field team, while seniors Cece Aguilera and Taryn Miller earned spots on the honorable mention field team. Senior goalkeeper Brenna Strand also earned honorable mention at her position.
“I’m proud of all of them, and I’m going to miss all those seniors especially,” head coach Sam Brown said.
The Tigers compiled a 7-1 regular season, going 3-0 in league competition. La Grande qualified for the non-OSAA sanctioned 4A state tournament by finishing as one of the top eight teams in the state at the 4A level.
La Grande lost 2-0 to Hidden Valley in the first round of the tournament at Gladstone High School on Tuesday, April 6, in a highly contested matchup. The Tigers out-possessed the Mustangs, but could not find the back of the net in the season-ending defeat.
“We had opportunities, but just couldn’t capitalize and made some mistakes,” Brown said.
The Tigers played their season in the spring instead of the fall due to the pandemic, which created challenges. Since the season started in March, La Grande began practicing in January. With the practice fields at La Grande Middle School covered in snow, the team relocated to the Eastern Oregon University fields for practices.
“They toughed it out. We had some really nasty mornings and they showed up,” Brown said. “This team was a lot of fun to coach.”
Despite the challenges from the pandemic, La Grande’s senior-led roster was able to stack wins together with ease. The Tigers outscored their first four opponents 28-1 and only allowed six goals in the regular season.
“We had a great season,” Brown said. “The pandemic made it interesting, but they did well and they stuck with it. I’m very proud of their effort despite all the setbacks.”