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Buffs fall to Corbett but manage to put on one of their best overall performances

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Madras senior Yienesis Cruz, left, dispossesses a Corbett player during the team's 3-0 loss on Senior Night.It is never easy to face three great teams all in a row, but that is exactly how the Madras girls soccer season closes out. Last Tuesday, the White Buffalos fell to No. 3 North Marion on the road, losing 8-0 to the Huskies. On Thursday, the team was back home for the last time this season.

Though Madras lost 3-0 to Corbett (9-3-1, 5-3-1 Tri-Valley), the Buffs kept the match close throughout and played one of their best games of the season. All three of the Cardinals' goals came from set pieces, with Corbett hitting the trifecta of scoring on a corner kick play, a direct free kick and a penalty kick.

The loss may have kept Madras winless in Tri-Valley play, but it also provided the team with one last chance to play for their school in front of friends and family. Before the match, seniors Amissa Anderson, Yienesis Cruz, Simyan David, Brooke Delamarter, Isabelle Ludi, Feather Miller and Cha Cha Ramirez were met with flowers, balloons and homemade signs to mark the Senior Night occasion.

"It was really exciting," said Delamarter after the match. "The fans made it a lot more energetic and hype, and it was nice to have a big crowd."

A four-year varsity player, Delamarter was encouraged by the team's final performance, which took place under the lights in the football stadium.

"I think we've gotten a lot better at linking up on passes and moving without the ball to get people to pass it to," she noted.

While losing seven seniors will make for a big transition next season, a number of younger players stood out over the course of the season. Junior midfielder Natalie Lockey either scored or set up every Madras goal this season, while fellow junior Emily King showed agility and toughness in both the midfield and as a central defender. Sophomores Sasha Esquiro and Idaly Romero earned regular praise from head coach Shawn Darrow for their prowess on the defensive wings, while fellow sophomore Heidi Sedano played every position on the field (including goalkeeper) and also scored the game-winning goal in Madras' season opener against Crook County. Ninth-graders Addy Adams and Hannah Pope displayed speed in the attacking third that could soon spell more game-winners for the Buffs.

The future feels very far away for the moment, though, as the dust has barely started to settle on this campaign. After giving her prognosis for how the team was developing on the pitch, Delamarter recalled with a smile four years of long bus trips off it. With most of their Tri-Valley foes located just east of Portland, those endless hours spent with teammates will be far more memorable down the road than any box score or win-loss column.

Madras (1-12, 0-9 Tri-Valley) finished its season with a particularly difficult opponent on Tuesday evening, making one final road trip together to face No. 1 Gladstone. Results of that match were not available at press time; however, entering the match, the Gladiators were 12-1 overall and 8-1 in Tri-Valley play. Those marks made them the front-runner to earn the top seed in next week's 4A State Playoffs coming into Tuesday.

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