Estacada struggles in league opener
4A Girls Soccer
Estacada is a team that relies on a lot of their young players, and due to unforeseen circumstances, that youthfulness was increased in Monday's game against Gladstone.
The Rangers were missing both of their team captains in Susan Kiser and Lissa Cauich, which forced head coach Heidi Hunt to bring up a handful of JV players to see meaningful playing time.
Even though Estacada hung tough for the first 30 minutes, Gladstone had far too much firepower for them to overcome. The Rangers eventually lost their Tri-Valley Conference opener 3-0.
With her team far from being at full strength, Estacada head coach Heidi Hunt was proud of the effort that her girls gave.
"Over the course of 80 minutes, I thought we did an exceptional job," Hunt said. "It's exciting when you have a bunch of young and inexperienced players that can compete with a team like Gladstone. All I can ask for is that they play with heart and if they do that, the skills will come along too."
"I was very pleased with what I saw tonight. I couldn't have asked for more."
Estacada's plan coming into the game was to put their focus on the defensive end and only play with one forward. But even though the Rangers were playing more girls in the back, Gladstone still got several opportunities to get a goal in the first 30 minutes. But three key saves by Estacada goalkeeper Emilee Ramirez kept the score tied at 0-0.
In the 32nd minute, Estacada defender Hayven Richardson got a little too aggressive with battling after a lose ball and was issued a yellow card, giving Gladstone a free kick.
On the free kick, Abby Hill sent a ball towards the corner of the box. After it was knocked around by players on both teams, Kasey Hogan was able to get a clean look at the net and just squeezed one past Ramirez, giving Gladstone the 1-0 advantage.
Look for extended coverage in the Sept. 20 print edition.