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Cowboys unable to secure first win of the season against either Redmond school

The Crook County High School boys soccer team lost a pair of Intermountain Conference matches this past week, falling 4-1 to Ridgeview at home on Monday, then losing on the road at Redmond 5-0 on Thursday.

Monday, the Cowboys took an early lead on a goal by Nils Hansen 10 minutes into the match.

"Nils converted a set piece just outside the 18-meter line on a foul and put it right in the back of the neck, so that really gave us a boost," Crook County head coach Bryan Housley said. "We were locked in pretty tight with them for a while."

Ridgeview scored the tying goal midway through the first half, then went ahead on a goal just prior to halftime.

Crook County was unable to score the remainder of the contest, while Ridgeview scored twice more in the second half. Still, Housley was pleased with his team's performance.

"Looking back, I can tell that that was probably one of the better score lines in the history with Ridgeview," he said. "So, to have just a three goal difference is actually a pretty good score. We were deadlocked with them for a good long time, which is nice and even going into the half 1-2 was a big confidence booster for the kids, and then we held them for at least 20 minutes in the second half before they scored again."

Housley added that the team was tired in the second half as, because of circumstances, the Cowboys had just one sub for the entire half. The team learned shortly before the match that they would be missing three players. That meant that in order to have a JV game, the Cowboys were left with virtually no substitutes for the entire match. One JV player played in the first half of the varsity match, but other than that, the team had just one substitute other than a backup goalkeeper.

"We had two guys playing defense that hadn't played defense all year, so they had to adjust pretty quickly," Housley said.

Both goal keepers played in the match, and Housley noted that both seniors, Tiernan Durbin and Joey Miller, played well in goal. Housley also noted that midfielder Hayden Shaw played well.

Thursday's match was another matter. Although the Cowboys stayed in the match for most of the first half, they were unable to keep up with the intensity of play by the host Panthers who slowly pulled away for the win.

"We had one of our better starts but just couldn't match the intensity brought by the Panthers," Housley said. "But we held our heads high and finished as a team."

Housley said that right now, it is more a matter of confidence than talent for the Cowboys.

"I'm not so much concerned with the wins," he said. "It's more about building these guys' confidence right now, understanding that they can't force the game. The game has to come to them. If we go into every game thinking that we can win, that defeats our purpose. We have to go into every game wanting to get better, so that's where our belief system is right now. We believe that we can win, but the winning will come as soon as we get over that hump, but the hump is more attitude and heart as opposed to other things."

With the loses, the Cowboys fell to 0-5 in conference play and 0-9 overall. Meanwhile, Ridgeview improved to 4-1 in league and 6-3-1 overall, while Redmond improved to 3-2 in conference and 3-6 overall.

Crook County is back in action on Thursday when they host The Dalles, 2-2-1, 3-4-2 in a 4:30 p.m. match.

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