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Sandy High School girls soccer keeps pace with a formidable Warriors team, lose 2-0

The Sandy girls soccer squad couldn't overcome the 11th-ranked Aloha High School Warriors on Thursday, Aug. 8, as the Pioneers lost at home 2-0.

According to Pioneers head coach Reagan Russell, the young Sandy team was feeling confident going into the day's match, having come off a dominant win over North Salem 8-1 earlier in the week. The Sandy girls needed every ounce of that energy to face off against an undefeated Warriors team.

Early in the game, Aloha was putting pressure on Sandy's backline. Pioneer keeper Natalie Foutz was shifting in the goalie box from the start and in the 32nd minute made a sliding save to keep the score at 0-0.

Although Aloha was clearly in control of the pace of the game, the Pioneers' bend-not-break defense was handling the Warriors' attack well. Solid defending by freshmen Dalicia Mondaca Saucedo and senior Hayden Leymaster kept the game within reach for the Pioneers. "I thought we had a lot of grit," Russell said. "(Aloha) had a talented group of girls coming at us every time, and I think we handled them really well."

Leymaster also thought her defense matched up well to the high-powered Aloha team. "In the last few games we have been really working on moving as a team and I feel like we did a really good job of that (today)," Leymaster said. "We kept them where we wanted them, pushed them to one side and if they did manage to get a ball through, we made sure we kept them away from it."

Unfortunately, the Aloha's pressure broke through the Sandy defense as the Warriors slipped a shot into the net. Despite the setback the Pioneers continued to stay with the Aloha team and managed to get in a few shots. However, a short pass from the Sandy goalie was intercepted by an Aloha player who easily scored.

Down 2-0 entering the second half, the Pioneers pressed on. While the home team's offense couldn't infiltrate Aloha's backline, Sandy's defense continued to perform admirably as they frustrated Aloha by denying any attempt to add onto their lead. The game ended 2-0 with Aloha on top.

"The two goals in the first half were a little bit of our mistakes, so I feel like we gifted them those, but I am still proud of the girls for holding them to zero goals in the second half," Russell said.

After a home game against Parkrose at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept 12, the Pioneers will head to Central High School to face the Panthers at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15.

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