But they expect to be back tough as ever next fall, when they move up to 5A and compete in the NWOC Conference

It was a tough ending to a tremendous season for the La Salle Falcons on Nov. 12, as their season came to an end with a 3-1 loss to third-ranked Scappoose in the semifinals of the Class 4A high school girls soccer playoffs.

Scappoose went on to defeat top-ranked La Grande 3-1 in Saturday’s championship final.

The seventh-ranked Falcons finished the year with an overall record of 13-4-0, after going 9-1 in the Tri-Valley Conference and winning their first league title since 2008.

“It was a tough loss, but I am very proud of what this team was able to accomplish this year,” said La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino.

The Falcons struggled to find the net in last week’s semifinal with the Indians, and they trailed 3-0 when Courtney Crain finally found the net — after a handball in the box — on a penalty kick with 12 minutes to play.

“Seniors Courtney Crain, Rachael Gottsch, Yesenia Higuera, Joslynn Bigelow, M’Kaila Karcsay and Sydney Chvilicek will be sorely missed,” Cereghino said. “They have provided great leadership for the team....

“But the coaching staff is already looking forward to next year and our new journey at the 5A level. It will be interesting to play in a new league with new opponents. We will be ready.”

The Falcons will miss Bigelow, who was the 2013 TVC “player of the year.”

They’ll also miss first-team all-conference midfielder Courtney Crain and first-team all-conference goalie Chvilicek.

But the cupboard is not bare. Seven players who started for the Falcons in last week’s semifinal are expected back, including juniors Natalie Stone, Tori Goodman, Veronica Horton and Kate Christoferson; sophomores Talya Holenstein and Regan Russell; and freshman Keegan Storlie. Junior Grace Foren-Self, who split-time in-goal with Chvilicek this fall, is also expected to return.

Holenstein (eight goals) was the Falcons’ leading scorer in league this fall.

Christoferson, Storlie and freshman Bailey Higgins were first-team all-conference selections this year, Christoferson in the forward line, and Storlie and Higgins in the midfield.

Horton was a second-team all-conference selection and Holenstein garnered honorable mention in the league all-star balloting.

The Falcons expect to be among the top teams in the nine-team Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference next fall, as they compete with teams from Milwaukie, Putnam, Sandy, Wilsonville, Parkrose, Liberty, St. Helens and Hillsboro.

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