Indians beat next two opponents by combined score of 16-1 after being dealt first loss of season

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Molalla seniors Sierra Cox (left) and Amanda Seward share a congratulatory hug after Cox scored on an assist from Seward during the Indians' 6-0 win over Madras this season.

When Gladstone handed them their first loss of the season last Thursday after achieving a five-game winning streak, the Molalla girls' soccer team had a choice to make: they could either let it eat at them, or come back stronger.

The Indians chose the latter as they annihilated Crook County and Estacada this week by a combined score of 16-1, shutting out the Cowgirls 9-0 at home Monday and crushing the Rangers in Estacada Wednesday 7-1.

The Indians still remain a top 10 team in the state and boast a better overall record than Gladstone, and the next time the two teams meet, it'll be on Molalla's turf.

"Part of the reason we have such a hard time with Gladstone each year is because we have history with them," head coach Nina Wegner said. "We play them each year, we know they are a good team, and they have a good soccer program. I was very proud of my team though."

The lone goal in the game came from a long shot about 30 yards out by Gladstone freshman Brianna Lewis; Molalla senior GK Alicia Schultz had come out of the box due to a lack of offensive pressure, and the shot found its way into the goal from way downtown.

"I don't want to take any credit away from [Lewis] … it was a good shot, but it was just unlucky for us," Wegner said. "She was able to get a shot off from 30 yards out, our defender wasn't able to get to her quick enough, and our goalie wasn't expecting a shot at that time … [Lewis] was so far out that none of us expected a shot."

After the score, Molalla held possession throughout most of the rest of the game, aside from a couple of breakaways that senior Sierra Cox shut down almost instantly.

"The girls never gave up, and they continued to put pressure on Gladstone's goal," Wegner said.

Wegner also said having three of her players out due to concussions likely hurt them, but they should be back in the lineup by the time the Indians face the Gladiators again on Oct. 10.

"The girls are determined to work hard, and we know what we need to do when we face Gladstone again … I don't have to tell my girls anything special," she said. "The girls saw how well they played, and they were just frustrated that they couldn't finish any of their shots; that is what happens in soccer."

Wegner also hinted at some changes to the starting lineup, but didn't give away any details.

"I tell the girls each time we play Gladstone: we need to make them adapt to our game, not the other way around," she said. "So hopefully next time, that is what you will see."

Molalla has some time off before their next game against Corbett (2-3-1, 2-2 Tri-Valley) on Oct. 3 at home, followed up by an away matchup at Madras on Oct. 5.

"Both teams have proven to be tough this year, so we won't go into playing them thinking we have an automatic win," Wegner said. "I feel like they both could be challenging teams for us."

Madras tied Gladstone 0-0 last week, while Corbett allowed just three goals in their matchup against the Glads.

"The five days we have before our next game will allow the girls to have some much-needed team bonding time," Wegner said. "It has been practice, game, practice, game for so long; now we can finally take a breather, work on some areas that need a little polishing, have some fun, and relax for a little bit before we have to put our game faces back on."

Catch Molalla at home on Tuesday, Oct. 3 against Corbett at 6 p.m.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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