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The Cougars battled back against the visiting Tigers but were unable to stop the winning goal with 17 seconds left

GERVAIS, Ore—The Cougars were just a few touches, a few looks away from taking home the victory against the visiting Taft Tigers on Friday, Oct. 8. Instead, the Tigers snatched victory from the jaws of, well, a draw.

With just 17 seconds left in the game, Taft scored a goal on an open net to take a 2-1 lead and the series edge against Gervais. The two teams tied 1-1 on Friday, Oct. 1 at Taft High School. The defeat marks five straight games winless for the Cougars, who are now 1-5-2 overall.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais junior Sofia Contreras was the engine for the Cougars on offense, continuously working the ball up the field against the visiting Taft Tigers.

On its face the defeat looks rough, but Gervais was in the attacking third for large portions of the game. The ball was worked up the sides of the midfield thanks to the efforts of junior Sofia Contreras and sophomore Ashlynn Hughes, and then crossed in where senior striker Valeria Montiel and others would get quality looks in the box.

The team just couldn't connect in the first half of play.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais sophomore Ashlynn Hughes was a big part of the Cougars attack along the wing in the loss to the Taft Tigers.

Taft was the first team to find a way onto the scoreboard. A handball called in the box put Taft's Chloe Peterson at the line for a penalty kick. Peterson kicked left and Gervais goalkeeper Kaia Brant chose the right direction to dive but was unable to get the save.

Gervais didn't score until the second half with less than 10 minutes remaining in play. Contreras earned another corner kick for the Cougars and sent it into the box where Montiel promptly kicked the ball past the Taft goalkeeper, and into the net, to even the score at one apiece.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais senior Valeria Montiel scored the teams lone goal against the visiting Taft Tigers.

Gervais (1-5-2) now faces a three-game road trip, starting Monday, Oct. 11 against Yamhill-Carlton (5-2). The two teams clashed before on Thursday, Sept. 16 with Yamhill-Carlton coming away with a 4-0 win.

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