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SH squeaks by Tigers in girls soccer league opener


September 20, 2016

CORA MCKEE moves the ball up the field against Junction City.

After tying Newport on the road Sept. 13, Cora McKee scored a single goal late in the game against Junction City to win the Huskies’ league opener 1-0 Thursday at home in girls soccer.

“We had so many opportunities,” said Coach Ramiro Santana. “We had so many times we could’ve scored.”

The ball would narrowly go by or over the goalposts, but Sweet Home kept bringing it up the field and taking shots. The Huskies shot the ball 28 times compared to about 13 for Junction City.

That was thanks to the defense, Santana said. Husky defenders, including Hannah Hewitt, Chloe Newport, Sydney Mauer and Kendyl Stutzman, were solid.

Keeper Hailey Nicholson directed traffic from the end of the field, and as a group they kept moving the ball out to create offensive opportunities.

“I think we had some good speed in the back,” Santana said. “Our defense is solid in the back.”

In Minute 23 of the second half, McKee put the ball into the net, and Santana boosted his defense to protect the lead. Midfielder Kenzi Adams dropped back to assist the defense and hold off a Junction City response.

The TIgers bounced the ball off the goal post once and had a couple of good shots, Santana said.

Sweet Home 2, Newport 2

Against Newport, ranked 12th in the state, the Huskies quickly found themselves trailing, down 2-0 by halftime.

“In the second half, we came back and started playing,” Santana said. “It was 20 minutes left, and we were still losing.”

The Huskies had stiffened defensively, holding Newport, but they weren’t getting a shot, he said. That’s when he swapped Milah Weld from right forward to left forward. McKee went to right forward, with Bethany Gingerich bringing up the center.

“Milah tends to go too wide right side,” Santana said. She’s right footed and crosses the ball. When he swapped McKee and Weld, Weld started dishing the ball off to Gingerich and McKee, and it seemed to confuse the Newport defense.

Gingerich scored in Minute 23 on an assist from Weld, and they did it again two minutes later to tie the game 2-2 with about 15 minutes left in the game.

“We could’ve won it too,” Santana said, but Newport maintained intense defensive pressure, and the Huskies weren’t able to get through again.

BETHANY GINGERICH takes control of the ball during the Huskies’ 1-0 win over Junction City.

Santana said he was pleased with the way the girls came back from an early 2-0 deficit. .

After last week’s outings, “I think we’re good,” Santana said. “I have some players that are hurt.”

Stutzman, McKee, Adams and Chelsea Nicholson are all a little beaten up, he said, and he’s trying not to play them too much.

The Huskies are 4-0-1 overall and 1-0 in league. They were scheduled to host Sisters on Tuesday, travel to Sutherlin and host Cottage Grove next week on Tuesday.


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