Kamilla Grimmer, left, and Elizabeth Morales celebrate a goal during Thursday's 5-0 victory over Cascade. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Although Philomath High seemed to have its girls soccer match well in hand at the intermission on Thursday against visiting Cascade, the Warriors couldn’t quite reach their preferred level of play.

A halftime talk helped, however, and the team found a productive rhythm in the second half that ended in a 5-0 victory. It was the third straight win for Philomath — a stretch that has seen the Warriors outscore their opponents, 21-0.

“I think our effort was good but it was frantic — that’s kind of the feeling we had,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “Especially in the first half, we were just really trying to force a lot of things when we could have controlled a little better and gotten better opportunities.”

Juniors Kamilla Grimmer and Bailey Bell each scored two goals and senior Elizabeth Morales had three assists in the victory.

“We started communicating more and really talking about what we wanted to try to do and just reaffirmed our goals,” Bell said about what she believed was the difference in the second half. “That helped us come out stronger and that’s something we’re really going to work on — keep communicating, keep talking to each other on the field.”

Philomath had several opportunities over the first 20 minutes of the game but couldn’t hit the net. Grimmer broke through in the 22nd minute to put the Warriors on the scoreboard.

Still, the frustrations continued over much of the rest of the first half. In the 33rd minute, Bell got the ball to Grimmer, who took a shot that hit Cascade’s keeper. Sophomore Petra Hernandez was there for the rebound but was unable to send it home.

Sophomore Sophia Bauer runs down a ball during the first half. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

A minute later, sophomore Heidi Bacho sent the ball toward the upper-right corner but Cascade’s goalkeeper went high to knock it away. In the 37th minute, Morales sent in a nice ball to Bell in the middle but she was off-balance and couldn’t recover in time to get off an effective shot attempt.

Philomath’s second goal occurred in the 38th minute with sophomore Sophia Bauer scoring with an assist to Morales. In the final seconds of the half, freshman Ana Candanoza just missed with a shot that hit the crossbar.

“They’ve set high expectations for themselves … they really want to be successful and sometimes you put a lot of pressure on yourself,” Phelps said.

The halftime chat revolved around settling down to relieve some of the pressure.

“Just let the game come to you a little bit, slow down and remember what we practice,” Phelps said he told them. “That’s what we talked about and I thought the second half was better.”

PHS sophomore Kateri Pindell clears the ball on defense against the Cougars. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Grimmer scored her second goal in the 50th minute with Morales picking up the assist.

“I think for the beginning of the season, we’re actually working really well together,” Grimmer said after the win. “And we’re just going to refine that more throughout the season.”

Bell scored the game’s final two goals in the 54th and 59th minutes. Grimmer and Morales had assists.

Philomath will head to Newport on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. match. The Cubs will enter the game with an unbeaten record at 4-0-1 — the team tying North Marion, 1-1, on Thursday.

Said Grimmer, “Overall, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re getting better every practice and we’re working hard.”

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.