Friday, November 2, 2012/lk
It was 72 hours filled with highs and lows for the Hood River Valley girls soccer team. The Eagles clinched a share of the Columbia River Conference title with a 3-0 win over The Dalles-Wahtonka Tuesday. On Thursday they suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Cleveland in the final minutes of overtime in a state playoff play-in game.
The Eagles led Cleveland 2-1 at halftime, only to see the Warriors score with eight minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime.
With both teams preparing for the game to go to penalty kicks in the 98th minute, Cleveland’s Kayla Bell directed a header against the grain of the HRV defense for the game winner.
The loss brought a disappointing end to what was otherwise a thrilling game.
HRV fell behind five minutes into the match off a set-piece goal on a Cleveland corner kick.
For the next 27 minutes the Eagles were able to get very little going offensively — but neither were the Warriors.
In the 31st minute the Eagles had a chance off a corner kick, but it was cleared, only see to the Eagles quickly attack again.
As the Warriors were trying to clear the ball, it wound up at the feet of HRV freshman Kara Kiyokawa, who was in front of the entire Cleveland defense.
She dribbled the ball in a few feet and then blasted a rocket into the net from 15 yards out for the equalizer.
In the final minute of the half Kiyokawa struck again. As Shannon Ostler brought the ball up the far side of the field, Kiyokawa came streaking up the near side, and arrived at the far post just in time for the freshman to get her head on a perfectly placed cross from the senior midfielder and put it into the goal.
The scores were the first two this season for the freshman defender.
HRV coach Kevin Haspela said the team had recently seen enough development from Kiyokawa and from its defense to try getting her more involved in the attack.
“I thought it was a great experiment,” Haspela said.
While the Eagles went into half time up one, they did not generate many more solid scoring chances in the second half.
Their best chance came on a shot by Colette Zack early in the half which went just over the bar.
While the Eagles tried to hold on as the clock wound, the Warriors began pushing more players up the field to try and find the equalizer.
Cleveland began to mount more attacks as the half moved along, peppering HRV goalkeeper Dominique Figueroa with repeated shots from the 50th minute onward.
However, it appeared the Eagle defense was going to bend but not break until a Cleveland attack got several forwards in the box ready to take advantage when a shot ping-ponged around several players before the Warriors got it in the net.
The Warriors were consistently on the attack the rest of the way, as they pushed for the game-winner in the waning moments of regulation.
They continued to push through the first overtime period, with Figueroa needing to make several saves to keep the game equal before Bell was able to get a header across the HRV defense.
“They put it all out on the field,” Haspela said of his team. “They shouldn’t be sad; their effort was fantastic.”