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White Buffalos and Rangers finish 1-1 as Buffs left to lament blown first-half opportunities

LON AUSTIN  - Natalie Lockey boots the Buffs' lone goal Tuesday, Sept. 20. The game with Estacada ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Madras White Buffalo girls soccer team played well enough to win on Tuesday, but they had to settle for a tie.

"I think we could have easily won that game, but we just had one mental lapse," Madras head coach Shawn Darrow said following the 1-1 tie. "We had girls that were sick and giving everything they had. Unfortunately, they just couldn't get another one in, but they fought all the way. It didn't quite go how we wanted it, but we will get them next time."

Madras played with the wind at their backs in the first half, and the visiting Estacada Rangers rarely managed to push the ball into the White Buffalo end of the field.

However, Madras missed numerous scoring opportunities throughout the half. Possibly the best opportunity came when Estacada's goal keeper, Kenadie Reese, mistakenly put the ball on the ground and then picked it back up. The White Buffalos failed to capitalize on either the ensuing free kick or the two corner kicks they earned immediately afterwards.

Still, Madras continued to push the pace, finally scoring with 7:41 remaining in the first half on a goal by Natalie Lockey.

"It felt pretty good," Lockey said of scoring the goal. "It got the energy going up and got the game going. It's definitely a step forward from our past seasons. We put a lot of pressure on them throughout the game, but I do think we had a lot of opportunities and I think the score would have been different if we would have finished."

The White Buffalos normal starting goalkeeper, Valerie Alonso, was injured in practice on Monday. Backup goalkeeper Roaree Jacobs filled in.

Trailing 1-0, Estacada took advantage of the wind and a White Buffalo defensive error to tie the game just two minutes into the second half on a goal by Natalie Hunt.

Madras forced the action for much of the second half, but playing against the wind were unable to get many good scoring opportunities.

"The wind was a factor, but I think that we had more chances, better opportunities and we just didn't really capitalize on them," coach Darrow said. "Wind or no wind, I think it's inexperience."

In the end, despite numerous scoring opportunities the White Buffalos had to settle for the tie. Still, Darrow was pleased with how well his patched-together defense was able to play.

" I thought that Emily King held the defense together and the brand-new keeper (Jacobs) played really well," he said.

With the tie the White Buffalos are now 1-1-1 overall and 0-0-1 in Tri-Valley Conference play, while Estacada is 0-3-2 overall and 0-0-1 in league.

The White Buffalos are on the road Thursday at Gladstone, 4-1, 1-0, and Monday at The Dalles, 2-0-2, 1-0, before returning home on Wednesday to host Molalla, 1-2-1, 0-1, in a 4 p.m. match.


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