Molalla can't hold lead in season opener
Molalla looked like it might open the season by routing one of the top girls soccer teams in Class 4A.
But after scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes, the Indians could not finish off North Valley, falling 3-2 Thursday at home.
"The girls are going to learn from that," Molalla head coach Nina Wegner said. "They're going to learn that we can't just relax when it's 2-0. We have to keep pushing, especially against hard teams like that. One thing that (North Valley) team did really well was they kept fighting the entire time."
Forward Holly Rae, who had mostly been used as a defender during her first two seasons with the Indians, put Molalla up 1-0 in the 10th minute, and then scored again five minutes later.
"I figured that she was going to be able to do stuff like that," Wegner said. "Now it's just figuring out the dynamic of who can play with her and when. She's a workhorse. She's going to be a good scorer. She had so many people trying to mark her. She gets the ball and there's three girls on her."
North Valley, which went 14-2 in 2018 and opened this season No. 4 in OSAAtoday's 4A coaches poll, got on the scoreboard in the 51st minute to get within 2-1 as the game became more physical in the second half.
"We let that get into our heads and went into fight mode instead of playing our game," Wegner said. "We just don't play well when we play messy and sloppy and dirty."
With less than 5 minutes remaining, the Knights took advantage of a yellow card by Molalla goalkeeper Raelynne Nogle.
North Valley missed a penalty kick, hitting the post against the Indians backup keeper, Haley Hewlett, but scored on the rebound to tie the game at 2-2.
The Knights then netted the game-winning goal with 49 seconds left to play.
Molalla will use the loss as a learning experience.
"It's like in life, you're not going to learn if you don't have failures and it's the same in soccer, we need to lose to learn what we need to work on," Wegner said. "I'd rather do it now in preseason than when we start the (league) season, especially against good teams."
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