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The Crook County Cowgirls are still struggling to score goals, but defense improves in loss at Pendleton

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Isabel Vargas Martinez, far right, fights with a The Dalles player for a ball during a match earlier this year. Vargas Martinez made a stop in the goal against Pendleton on Thursday but the Cowgirls lost 4-0. The Crook County Cowgirls are still struggling to score goals.

The Cowgirls have managed to score just one goal so far this year. However, Friday afternoon in Pendleton, the team played probably their best match of the year.

The Cowgirls trailed the Buckaroos just 1-0 at halftime before giving up three second half goals in a 4-0 loss to Pendleton.

Still, Crook County head coach Destanie Johnson was pleased with the effort she saw from her team.

"The girls played very well and we saw a lot of movement on the field," she said. "We had 20 shots on goal. We were just unable to get it in."

The Cowgirls best opportunity to score came on a corner kick in the second half. Emma Bales took the kick and Vanessa Martinez made solid contact with the ball but Pendleton's goalkeeper was up to the challenge and made the block.

Crook County goalkeeper Lakyra Walker had eight saves on the day. In addition, Johnson noted that defender Isabel Vargas Martinez also had a great save, stepping in front of a ball just before it crossed the goal line and kicking it away from the goal.

"They really executed the drills we've been doing in practice and had a lot of movement and solid passes," Johnson said.

With the loss, Crook County fell to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in conference play, while Pendleton improved to 1-6 overall and 1-2 in league.

The Cowgirls are on the road at Ridgeview, 3-3, 2-1, today beginning at 4:30 p.m. The team returns home on Thursday when they take on the Redmond Panthers, 3-4, 1-2, in a 4 p.m. match.

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