Lead late in La Pine match spoiled

The Madras High School girls soccer team hasn't won a game yet this season, but they haven't lost, either.

The White Buffalos worked two draws, both 1-1, against La Pine and Redmond in their first two matches of the season, and head coach Mike Osborne said he was pretty pleased with the start.

"We've got a brand new group really, but we're taking the steps we need to be competitive," he said. "Once we get everyone back to where they need to be, we can start to set up our system and really get going."

The club has been shorthanded, especially on the attacking side, with the absence of junior Mariah Stacona. Along with not having defender Cassidy Brown and forward Analie Diaz available for the first two matches, Osborne said he was impressed with how his team played without the three starters.

"I played five freshmen against Redmond the majority of the time," Osborne said. "We're taking baby steps and trying to figure out how to consistently play at a high level."

In the match against Redmond on Thursday, sophomore Kalan Wolfe scored the only Madras goal on the penalty kick in the first half. She hit the ball from the 6-yard spot hard and fast into the upper left corner of the goal to put the Buffs on top, but the Panthers equalized in the 49th minute.

Osborne said first-year goalkeeper Janae Adams had a nice game in the net for the Buffs, and made some important stops to preserve the tie.

"She has the general knowledge about when to be aggressive and when to lay back," Osborne said of Adams. "She used her athleticism for us, especially in the second half. She had to really go get four or five of Redmond's shots, and the rest were right to her, because she was positioned well."

Against La Pine in the team's season opener on Wednesday, the Buffs led until three minutes left in the match when La Pine broke through for the match-tying goal.

While a win escaped the Buffs against the Hawks, two ties to begin the year is considerably better than the alternative. The Buffs worked one tie last year, and only won two matches.

The Buffs will have to learn as they go, Osborne said, in order to really make progress. But he said he is pleased with where the team is at right now, given the circumstances, with all the youth they have.

"We're still trying to learn some of the basic strategy and terminology of things, but we're headed in the right direction," Osborne said.

The result of Tuesday's match with Ridgeview was not available by the Pioneer's press deadline. They will play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Tillamook.

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