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Injured Madras White Buffalo team loses to Molalla 4-1, beat Gladstone Gladiators 2-1.

STEELE HAUGEN - Noe Palacios controls the ball during the Molalla game. 
The Buffs were without some main starters during the teams' 4-1 loss to the Indians.The shorthanded Madras White Buffalo soccer program lost their first league game in three years Sept. 27. The Buffs lost to Molalla 4-1, but were playing without some key defensive starters due to off-field injuries.

"Losing three starters is never a fun thing to happen," head soccer coach Clark Jones said. "One the the starters was still playing, but not at 100 percent. Honestly, you just try and control what you can control and you can't control luck."

"You have a kid who is taking his little sister to school and gets T-boned by another car; that is just one of those things you can't control," Jones said. "The other, a fluke twist in the knee, nothing long-term. You have to frame it as an opportunity for others to rise up and a lot of kids can."

Molalla scored their first goal early in the game. A Molalla pass in the middle of the field found an open Lukas Kendrup, who tapped in a goal.

Kendrup almost scored again later in the game, but Madras defender Chapin Grote made a slide tackle save and kept the ball out of scoring position. The Buffs were close to tying the game with an Andres Acuna header, but the ball sailed a little too high.

JIM BESEDA FOR THE MADRAS PIONEER - Esteban Gomez makes a slide tackle during the Buffs' 2-1 victory Sept. 25. Gomez scored the first goal of the game.Molalla had a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Early in the second half, Brice Sperl, of Molalla, scored a goal. A Molalla pass to the middle of the field, which took a few bounces with several players missing the ball, set up a shot for Sperl, who tapped it in for the second goal of the game.

Molalla took advantage of the several missing Madras defenders and scored their third goal of the game on a rebounded shot. Kendrup took a hard shot that Madras goalie Byron Patt blocked, but it landed at the feet of Molalla athlete Carson Donaldson, who made the easy shot.

The Buffs scored with 15 minutes left in the game. Sophomore Leo Gutierrez scored on a corner kick. He curved the ball toward the goal, which hit a Molalla defender and bounced in the back of the net.

The Molalla Indians scored at the end of the game, taking a 4-1 lead. Kendrup dribbled the ball past a pair of Madras defenders and scored on a low kick in the left corner of the net.

"Unfortunately, the continuity was not there," Clark said. "It was a good effort honestly. I hate to see our streak come to an end, but it was a good game, well-played, well-refereed; sometimes stuff like this happens. It is something that doesn't kill us for the rest of the year. We still get to play them one more time and we have been successful playing at Molalla in the past."

"We have already lost one, to Summit, and when we think about the whole thing when it comes to the game, there were a lot of positives that came out of it," Jones said. "Ultimately, we played hard, played our game. We were unlucky a few times. There was not any quit in us and the next couple teams are ones we think we don't need to extend ourselves too hard to be competitive."

JIM BESEDA FOR THE MADRAS PIONEER - Chapin Grote take the ball away from a Gladstone player.

Gladstone

The White Buffalos also traveled to Gladstone Sept. 25 and won 2-1.

Madras scored early in the game on a corner kick. Both Esteban Gomez and Andres Acuna jumped high for the ball, which bounced off both of them, with the ball finding the back of the net. The goal was credited to Gomez and the Buffs took a 1-0 lead.

Gladstone answered quickly with a goal of its own, tying the game 1-1. Later, Acuna was able to score from an assist by Patt.

"He (Acuna) took the ball out of the air with two guys in front of him, shielded the ball with his body and put one right in left corner," Jones said. "We basically ended up attacking as hard as we could after that — keeping the ball as far away from the goal as possible, which seemed to work out pretty good."

Madras is now 5-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 in league play. The team played at Estacada, Tuesday, Oct. 2, after the Pioneer's deadline.

"We will go back in, practice the way we normally practice, prep the way we normally prep and go to Estacada, play hard and hopefully come out with a good result," Jones said.

The Buffs have a home game against Corbett Oct. 4.

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