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Squad looks to be much improved over last year; control much of the game against Westside Christian before losing 2-1

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO  - Emily Ruiz, 21, shown here during the 2021 season, was one of several Cowgirls who had strong games against Westside Christian.The Crook County High School girls soccer team suffered a tough 2-1 loss on the road Monday to Westside Christian of Tigard.

Crook County was in control of the match early in the contest, but were unable to find a way to score.

"The Cowgirls dominated possession of the game for the first 20 minutes," said head coach Mary Buell. "Our shape was solid, transitioning was quick and our passing was simple but effective."

Still, Crook County was only able to get two shots on goal during the early portion of the match, while the Eagles were able to counterattack and put four shots on goal.

"After that initial 20 minutes, the heat and lack of fitness caught up to us," Buell said. "We stopped transitioning, lost our intensity off the ball and stopped communicating. We went from 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes to nearly 70 by the end of the first half."

With the errors, the Cowgirls allowed 10 more shots in the first half, with Westside Christian finding a way to connect on a goal.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Cowgirls discussed the need to communicate better and play simple.

"The second half we still struggled with fitness, but improved on our halftime goal to communicate more and play simple," Buell said. "The goals were reiterated at the quarter. Although we continued to struggle with shape in our back line, allowing multiple shots by positioning too deep, we managed to play through the middle more."

The Cowgirls gave up a second goal to Westside Christian in the second half. However, Crook County also found a way to score, with Emily Ruiz scoring on an assist from Samantha Ramos.

Although Crook County was unable to find a way to score the tying goal, they did continue to pressure the Eagles the remainder of the contest.

The Cowgirls scored just three goals all of last year, so, scoring a goal in their first match of the year is an accomplishment.

"Good work tonight, Cowgirls," Buell told her team following the contest. "The growth we experience week to week is incredibly exciting."

Crook County does not play again until Saturday, Sept. 10, when they take on North Bend in a 1 p.m. home matchup.

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