Cowgirls fall 9-0 to Molalla Indians, 7-0 to Gladstone Gladiators in Tri-Valley Soccer action

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Vanessa Martinez, 7, and Lewis both attempt to play the ball at the same time. The Cowgirls are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Madras to take on the White Buffalos. The Crook County Cowgirls are struggling to be competitive right now.

The Cowgirls were shut out Monday by the seventh-ranked Molalla Indians, then were shut out again on Wednesday by the sixth-ranked Gladstone Gladiators.

"Well, it was a hard week," said Crook County head coach Rich Abrams following Wednesday's home loss to the Gladiators. "But it was a good time to learn, you know, to figure out where things are going good and where they are not. We have been working on patching up a few holes and you know, we've been somewhat successful."

During Monday's road loss at Molalla, the Cowgirls were never in the match as the Indians posted a 9-0 victory.

The Indians did most of the damage early in the contest, jumping out to a 7-0 halftime lead.

"We had the talk at halftime and they did better in the second half," Abrams said. "They actually played better against Molalla than they did against Corbett (a 5-3 loss), at least on defense. They weren't out of position as much, so yeah, it was progress."

The win improved the Indian record to 3-1 in conference play and 7-1 overall.

Wednesday, it didn't take the visiting Gladiators long to score as they cruised to an easy 7-0 victory.

Just two minutes into the contest, freshman Brianna Lewis connected on a short goal from the left side of the net to put the Gladiators up 1-0. Lewis scored again less than two minutes later, to make the score 2-0.

A goal by Denali Nelson made the score 3-0 with 20 minutes still remaining in the half.

Lewis scored her third goal of the match in the game's 24th minute to make the score 4-0.

"I think we connected our passes and communicated well," Lewis said. "And we had high intensity right off the bat and that's how we finished."

Just two minutes later, Crook County was called for hands inside the penalty area, giving the Gladiators a penalty kick. Renee Baker slipped the kick into the corner of the net to make the score 5-0 with 14 minutes still remaining in the first half.

From that point on, the Gladiators worked on their ball control and passing with the Cowgirls occasionally gaining control of the ball and LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Nohemy Zaratte, 6,  plays defense on Gladstone forward Brianna Lewis. Lewis scored four goals in the Gladiators 7-0 victory over the Cowgirls. pushing up field.

Gladstone scored again on a second penalty kick with 28 minutes remaining in the second half, before Lewis scored her fourth goal of the contest midway through the half.

"The girls did a very good job of passing the ball and moving after it," said Gladstone head coach Greg Hess. "Our last game, we couldn't put a goal away if it mattered, but everybody did a much better job today and moved off the ball and found the open spots. The one thing I'm really proud of is our defense has been doing a much beterr job."

Although the Cowgirls were disappointed with the loss, they still felt that the team has improved a lot since the beginning of the year.

"Yesterday, we talked about who we want to be today," said defender Nohemy Zaratte. "We talked about do we want to be Estacada, which means being really aggressive, but still with good passes, and that was our goal today. I think we took a very big step forward because we were giving very good passes and I think we are way better than our first game."

Abrams agreed that the team is continuing to improve.

"It was progress," he said. "This was a little step forward from Molalla, and that was a step forward from Corbett."

The Cowgirls, 0-4 in conference play and 0-6 overall, are on the road on Tuesday against the Madras White Buffalos, 1-2-1, 2-4-2 in a 4 p.m. match, while the Gladiators, 3-0-1, 5-2-1, host Estacada.

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