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Cougars suffered 6-1, 4-0 losses against Dayton, Yamhill-Carlton in start of season action

The Gervais girls soccer team's season got off to a rough start Monday, Sept. 13, when it ran into league foe Dayton. The Cougars were defeated 6-1 by the visiting Pirates.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais player Sofia Contreras takes the ball down the field against the visiting Dayton Pirates.

From the jump, Dayton put Gervais on the backfoot, pouring in four goals in the first 40 minutes. The Gervais backline could not hold back the opposing offense. Conversely, the offense struggled to get good looks on goal during the first 40 minutes. Junior Diolissa Morales, junior Sofia Contreras, and senior Valeria Montiel each got a look at goal in the first half, but each time their shot was blocked.

Gervais looked better in the second stanza. While they conceded two more goals, the Cougars were able to perform better in the second half. Part of it was the message from the coaches at halftime.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais goalkeeper Kaia Cordova takes a goal kick against Dayton.

"We talked about defense pinching in," said Gervais head coach Michael Mulkerin. "They were playing the through ball right through our middle, so we talked about an actual correction which was, 'Hey, let's not let them run right through our middle,' so that was the discussion. The other part is that we're out here to have fun and give our best effort, and we'll let the chips fall where they may. That's what I wanted to see from them. I wanted to see their best effort, and I feel like I got it."

Against Dayton the team gave up four goals in the first half; in the second, the only gave up two goals and got one back thanks to a free kick goal from Contreras that was well beyond the 18.

"We've got a couple of girls who can kick it that far, but Sofia is probably my most experienced girl," Mulkerin said. "She's got a strong enough leg to get it from a distance outside the 18, that's stuff that she practices. So yeah, I felt comfortable giving her the shot at it."

Against Yamhill-Carlton, the team gave up three goals in the first half: in the second, only one goal. It's going to be a season of growth for the Cougars, according to Mulkerin. Becoming comfortable in competition is where that growth is going to happen.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais player Jasmine Rogers challenges a Dayton midfielder for the ball.

"They don't really have an understanding of the ebb and the flow of how it all fits together, so I'm hoping that that part improves overall for the team, which is hard to do when we've had 14 and 15 at practice," Mulkerin said. "You can't play 11 a side and let them get that experience. We're going to have to do that through games, and hopefully they can build on it."

The Cougars next chance at victory will be Monday, Sept. 20, against Blanchet Catholic (3-2), who sit at the top of the division with a 3-1 division record.


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