PHS senior Kamilla Grimmer scores on this shot past Cascade's goalkeeper Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High girls soccer team worked through challenging weather conditions Tuesday and put away visiting Cascade, 5-0, to keep pace with first-place North Marion in the Oregon West Conference.

Since falling to the Aurora school on the road Sept. 28, the Warriors (8-2 overall, 5-1 Oregon West) have outscored their last three opponents, 21-0. Philomath will play Thursday at Newport before hosting the Huskies (8-2, 6-0) Tuesday in a rematch with the conference title on the line. North Marion, sitting at No. 3 in the most-recent OSAA rankings, beat Newport Tuesday, 5-2. Philomath is ranked No. 8.

Philomath and Cascade battled each other hard in the first half Tuesday afternoon with wet field conditions causing some frustrating moments for the home team. Still, the Warriors held a 2-0 advantage at the break on goals by senior Kamilla Grimmer and junior Petra Hernandez. Sophomore Ana Candanoza and junior Natalie Dunn had assists on those plays.

The elements have impacted Philomath’s last two home games in different ways — extreme heat on Thursday against Stayton and rain on Tuesday against Cascade.

“I think that was a struggle all game long with just our style of play — trying to play controlled,” Phelps said. “Finding our feet can be a little challenging when it’s hard to get your footing but I think the girls responded really well.”

PHS junior Sophia Bauer had two goals in the first four minutes of the second half. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath came out in the second half and scored its next three goals over a span of just six minutes.

“We played much better as a team staying connected, finding feet and playing off each other,” Phelps said. “Defensively, we were good all game.”

Junior Sophia Bauer put the Warriors up 3-0 in the 42nd minute on a left-footed shot with an assist by Grimmer. Two minutes later, Bauer scored again with a header set up by a pass from senior Bailey Bell. The team’s last goal occurred in the 48th minute with junior Isabel Morales-Marquez finding the net with an assist by Grimmer.

Player families and fans watch in the rain. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath had a little bit of a scare in the first half when goalkeeper Heidi Bacho went to the ground. Junior Kateri Pindell came in to play goal but only for a matter of seconds before Bacho re-entered the contest.

“The rule is that you’ve got to bring them off if the coach comes to check them out (on the field),” Phelps said. “She just got a little knock from the opposing player but she’s good.”

Philomath’s game at Newport Thursday is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.