On a wet Thursday afternoon on a soggy Philomath High pitch with the emotion of Senior Night in the air, the girls soccer team saw its chances for an Oregon West Conference title slip away with a 1-0 loss to Sisters.
The Warriors had a number of good looks at the goal in the first half but couldn’t finish to get on the scoreboard. Sisters goalkeeper Josie Patton had a lot to do with Philomath’s frustration with several saves, including one in the 33rd minute from short range off the foot of Warriors junior Elizabeth Morales-Marquez.
In the second half, Sisters controlled possession most of the way with the Warriors unable to get much going offensively.
“It’s OK, the season’s not over and this one game doesn’t define us,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “We’re young and sometimes it’s good to have these games to grow from.”
The inability to get the ball into the net established an unfortunate tone from the home team’s perspective.
“In the first half, we played really well, we played patiently and had tons and tons of opportunities and we just didn’t get one in,” Phelps said.
Sisters, which tied Philomath on its home field back on Sept. 27, came at the Warriors with an aggressive strategy.
“They’re a very physical team; they use their hands a lot and their bodies a lot and we’re a small team and I think that took its toll on us,” Phelps said. “Plus, the field conditions got muddy and there was a lot of emotion with Senior Night. It just didn’t come together.”
A steady rain fell throughout the contest to make those field conditions interesting.
Sisters came through past the midway point of the second half to take the lead. In the 67th minute, senior Reese Harwell scored with an assist to sophomore Maggie Lutz.
Philomath just couldn’t find a rhythm in the second half and Phelps said his team eventually got into frantic mode.
“I think that’s what we’ll have to think about a little bit,” Phelps said. “We didn’t have a good half. We weren’t connected to each other and we weren’t playing the same way we were playing in the first half.”
With the loss, the Warriors dropped to 6-1-3 in the conference and can only watch Woodburn and Sisters now battle it out for the league title. Those two teams are scheduled to meet on Saturday. The Outlaws have another conference game on Tuesday against Cascade, the only team to hand Sisters a conference loss this season.
Philomath (7-2-3 overall) will play at Newport on Saturday with the start time slated for 4 p.m. The Warriors hit the road again Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game at Stayton.
Sisters 1, Philomath 0
Thursday, Oct. 21, at Philomath HS
|Sisters (8-2-2, 7-1-2)||0||1||1|
|Philomath (7-2-3, 6-1-3)||0||0||0|
|Second Half: 1, Sisters, Reese Harwell (Maggie Lutz), 67th minute.|
(As of Oct. 21)
Oregon West Conf Pct. All Pct. PF PA Woodburn
Tuesday, Oct. 19
Sisters 3, Newport 0
Stayton 2, Sweet Home 0
Woodburn 6, Cascade 0
Thursday, Oct. 21
Sisters 1, Philomath 0
Woodburn 4, Stayton 0
Newport 3, Cascade 2
Friday, Oct. 22
Sweet Home at Creswell, ccd.
Saturday, Oct. 23
Cascade at Sweet Home, 11 a.m.
Woodburn at Sisters, noon
Philomath at Newport, 4 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 25
Sweet Home at Newport, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 26
Philomath at Stayton, 6 p.m.
Cascade at Sisters, 6 p.m.
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