Originally published October 18, 2017 at midnight, updated October 18, 2017 at midnight
There’s no cooling down the HRV girls soccer team.
The girls are currently on a three-game winning streak and have outscored opponents 23-0.
With a 7-2-2 overall and 3-0-1 league record, the girls rank 11th in OSAA standings and first in the Columbia River Conference.
A win for HRV in their next game will mean a CRC title, but it won’t be easy. They face off against Hermiston, the only team in the girls’ way from winning the last CRC title.
Hermiston is 2-0-2 in league play and has a chance to steal the title away from the Eagles.
The last time these two teams faced off was Oct. 3 in Hermiston and they tied 0-0.
With home field advantage this time around, the Eagles look to have the upper hand to win the CRC title for a final time on Tuesday Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. (score not available at press time).
“If we win, we will take our eighth consecutive CRC title,” said Head Coach Kevin Haspela. “We shared the championship with Hermiston in 2012, but otherwise, HRV has been outright champs. No team has scored on us in the league and no team has scored on Hermiston in the league. Since this is the final year of the CRC and senior night, this is a special game for both sides Tuesday night.”
This past Saturday, however, the Eagles dominated the 6A Reynolds Raiders, winning 9-0 at home.
HRV controlled the game on both sides of the ball, applying constant pressure on the attack, which also played into their aggressive style of defense as the team kept forcing the ball into Reynolds’ side of the field.
About halfway into the first half, the game was all tied up at 0, but Eagle’s freshman forward Mira Olson would change that.
Olson would fight off two defenders and find an opening for a shot from outside the box on the right side of the field.
The shot would soar over the opposing goalie and find the top left of the goal for the first score of game, 1-0.
Minutes later, after some stingy defense, the Eagles won the ball off a turnover in the Reynolds backfield and the Raiders were forced to play overly aggressive to prevent a goal, but they would eventually reward the Eagles with a free kick after the referee issued a penalty on a Raiders defender.
The free kick was placed in an identical spot from where Olson had scored the first goal of the game. This time, senior captain Claire Davies would take the shot.
The shot, went up and over the Raiders goalie and found the back of the net in the top left corner of the goal, 2-0.
And after this goal, the girls showed no signs of slowing down. They would get another goal with 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
Makenna Zorza in the middle of the field was running stride for stride with Olson, who was pushing the ball up the field from the right wing.
Olson would make a defender miss and give Zorza a touch pass in the middle of the box.
Zorza would finish the play and the goal would put the Eagles up 3-0.
Senior forward Leah Ralph would join the scoring party with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half, scoring outside the box in the middle of the field, 4-0.
The defense would also put some points up on the board as senior defender Erin Sutherland ended the first half with a goal from about 20-yards out.
The Eagles in the second half would score four more goals and end the day with a 9-0 victory.“Reynolds had some very good players, but our team continued to win balls and intercept their passes,” said Haspela.
Zorza, Ashlee Ponce, and Ralph each scored twice. Olson, Davies and Sutherland also scored.
“The difference between our team now and in the start of the season is that we know our team shape and roles well. We've tweaked our attack and are honing in on our areas for improvement,” said Haspela.
After their game on Tuesday, HRV will be at Henderson Stadium once again, but this time against perennial state champion contender Summit on Oct. 19 at 4 p.m.