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Brianna Lewis had three goals and two assists to help lead the Gladiators to a Tri-Valley Conference home win Tuesday

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Gladstone's Brianna Lewis (4) wheels around Madras defender Harlee David (10) during the first half of Tuesday's Tri-Valley Conference girls soccer game at Gladstone. The Gladiators won 7-0.The Gladstone Gladiators had all the offense they needed to take down the Madras White Buffaloes less than two minutes into Tuesday's Tri-Valley Conference girls soccer match.

The other three Gladstone goals in the first half and the three goals the Gladiators tacked on in the second half were all icing on the cake.

Junior forward Brianna Lewis finished with three goals and two assists, and senior keeper Aaliyah Asad recorded her second consecutive shutout as the Gladiators breezed to a 7-0 home win Tuesday at Dick Baker Stadium.

Denali Nelson, Rhyli Grim, Josie Landrus, and Gwyneth Roberson scored one goal each to help the Gladiators (5-1, 2-0 Tri-Valley) run their winning streak to three games, while sending the White Buffaloes (2-5, 0-3) to their third straight loss.

"We definitely thought we were going to pull out a win," Lewis said. "We went into the game know that Madras' stats were a little better this year than they'd been in years past, so we went into it with full intensity and high intensity.

"I don't know what else to say. We worked hard and played with high intensity. There wasn't much more to it than that."

Gladstone had a 33-2 advantage in total shots, an 18-0 advantage in shots on goal, and a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, which combined with the final score helps paint a fairly vivid picture of just how one-sided the game was.

From Madras coach Shawn Darrow's perspective, the two biggest factors Tuesday were Gladstone's speed and playing on artificial turf.

"We just can't match Gladstone's speed," Darrow said. "They're super-quick, they're used to this field, and we struggled from the get-go.

"I thought we'd play them closer than that, but I think it will be better when we play them at home on grass. But, yeah, I knew it was going to be tough. We've never done well on this field, and Gladstone is at the top of our league for a reason."

Instant offense

Madras starting goalkeeper Cheydon Herkshan made a diving save, moving from her left to her right on a shot by Lewis in the second minute, but left out a rebound where Nelson banged it inside the left post to give the Gladiators a 1-0 lead.

Lewis scored an unassisted goal in the 26th minute, Lewis scored again with an assist from Sage Rhomberg in the 31st minute, and Grim scored with an assist from Emma Reese in the 33rd minute to make it 4-0.

In the second half, Lewis scored her third goal with an assist from Jami Anderson in the 48th minute, Lewis then set up Landrus for a goal in the 51 st minute, and, finally, Grim set up Roberson on a partial breakaway for the goal that made it 7-0 in the 72nd minute.

At the other end of the field, Asad, the Gladiators' senior keeper, touched the ball only a handful of times during either half, but was never really tested.

In the 77th minute, Asad came racing off her goal line to make a play on a loose ball as it rolled into the top of the 16-yard box, sliding hard and gathering the ball in a split-second before Herkshan, the Madras keeper-turned-forward in the second half, could make a play for the Buffaloes.

"It's hard to say what we were expecting from Madras," Gladiators coach Tyler Lewis said. "We see results that are coming in and... we're expecting a difficult game every game out. Today, it went our way and we were able to connect some stuff together, create a few opportunities, and score some goals."

First impressions

As dominant as his team played from start to finish on Tuesday, the Gladstone coach still saw room for improvement.

"We played a little bit slow to open," Tyler Lewis said. "And even though we were playing slow, we weren't playing as crisp and tidy as I feel like we should have at that pace. And, so, you either have to do one or the other — we have to get quicker or we have to clean things up.

"Once we started to clean up things, then the goals started to come."

Tuesday's game also marked the first time Madras had been shutout this season.

"There's not a whole lot to say," Darrow said. "We're going to head home and try to figure out how to deal with what we saw here today, but Gladstone's speed is killer and they know how to use that speed on this field, especially.

"I think it will be better when we play them at home on grass."

The rematch is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Madras.

"You hit a team on a wrong day and it could go one way or the other, it's just that was in girls soccer," Tyler Lewis said. "I don't think Madras gave us their best today. We definitely won't take them lightly when we go there, because we know they're capable of putting a good game on us.

"I think Madras is going to have some good results at home. It's tough for them to travel all this way and play here, just like it's hard for us to sit on a bus for a couple of hours and go play there."

Elite status

So far, the Gladiators are thrilled with how the first month of the regular season has unfolded. Aside from winning three in a row, they also were ranked No. 3 in the latest 4A coaches poll and Tuesday's win helped them climb from No. 4 to No. 2 in the OSAA power rankings heading into Thursday's home match with North Marion (6-1, 3-0).

"Last year, we weren't fully healthy and didn't have all of our players to start the season, so we felt as if we were playing catch-up," Tyler Lewis said. "This year, so far, cross our fingers, we've stayed healthy and been able to play how we wanted to play.

"We've played some tough, top-10 teams in Stayton and Philomath and got good results. We played at Marist Catholic, which I think has got to be the favorite to be in the championship game, and we gave them everything that they could handle and lost 2-1, but we were pleased with how we played for that early in the season and on the road.

"Hopefully, we'll get to see them again, much, much later in the year."

GLADSTONE 3, NORTH MARION 0: Gladstone's Brianna Lewis scored two goals, Rhyli Grim scored one, and goalkeeper Aaliyah Asad made six saves, leading the Gladiators to a Tri-Valley Conference home win Thursday over the Huskies.

The Gladiators did all their scoring in the first half with Lewis scoring an unassisted goal in the third minute, Grim scoring with an assist from Josie Landrus in the seventh minute, and Lewis striking again with an assist from Danali Nelson in the 38th minute.

By Jim Beseda
Sports editor
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