Neither Rail City school came away with a win. One team was competitive, and the other squad probably wish it could have fast forwarded through the day to its next game.
The Cougars gave up one goal on a rebound in the first half, but couldn’t find the equalizer in their 1-0 loss to the Mustangs.
“I knew it was going to be tough. We tied them 0-0 in the preseason,” SSHS girls soccer coach Mike Faker said. “I thought (the preseason game) was pretty even and it was back and forth. I was hoping for a win, but I knew it was going to be a close one.”
The Mustangs owned much of the possession in the first half, using the home turf to their advantage by sending the ball downfield to the corners and hoping their forwards could track the ball down before the defense.
However, it was a loose ball in front of the goal that led to the lone goal in the first half.
With 22:42 on the first-half clock, Spanish Springs goalkeeper Baylie Krutsinger crawled to a loose ball after making a save on the ground off Erica Ritter’s initial shot to the left corner. But Morgan Agnor beat her to the ball on the goal line and pushed it all the way across for the score.
“The last 25 minutes we outplayed them, but the first 55 minutes they definitely outplayed us,” Faker said. “We practice once a week on the turf. We’re trying to get used to this. Still, there were a lot of balls we played that we were a step off because the ball is a lot faster.”
Mustang fans had to hold their breath midway through the second half, but Spanish Springs only provided scares. The set pieces off corners and free kicks led to no goals.
Michelle Lucas recorded the shutout for the hosts.
Several young players put in a good effort for Spanish Springs, so Faker is hoping that will light a fire under some of the other players and during the next outing, the team will give a complete effort for 80 minutes and not just 25.
The Cougars fell to 3-4-1 and will try to get back to their winning ways when they host Hug at 3 p.m. Saturday.
•Prior to Spanish Springs’ late game, Reed was thrashed at Bishop Manogue, staking the Miners to a 5-0 halftime lead and eventually losing 8-1.
It took 12 minutes for the home team to get on the board. Andrea Hernandez broke the scoreless tie on an assist by Annie Sedgwick with a shot into the bottom left part of the goal at the 28:10 mark of the first half.
In the 18th minute, Sedgwick picked up a goal of her own when Ashley Sambrailo fed her the assist.
Manogue made it 3-0 less than three minutes later. Mackenzie Spaich assisted on Kayla Alexander’s goal.
With 12:10 remaining in the first half, Gabby Rainoldi got into the scoring act thanks to a helper by Michelle Lawson.
The Miners took a 5-0 lead at the break by finding the back of the net one last time in the final two minutes of the first half.
“I think we just let them out-hustle and out-think us for the middle part of the first half. We gave away some really easy goals. When you see your teammates give three goals away one right after the other, it’s really hard to keep your focus and your intensity and that leads to more goals. The next thing you know it’s 5-0 at halftime,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said.
“We brought them in at halftime and tried to counter what was going on. We’re not going to get five goals in one quick swoop. We thought maybe we could keep it respectable and out of the net. For the first 15 minutes of the second half, I thought we did that.”
For the first 13 minutes of the second half, the score stayed 5-0, but Alexander changed the 5 to a 6 when Sedgwick threaded the needle with a pass when Reed’s defense stopped moving and Alexander redirected the pass into the goal for a 6-0 advantage with 26:26 to play in the game.
In the 58th minute, the Raiders made sure they weren’t going home without a goal. Katelyn Raatz took a shot from the right side. The Miner goalkeeper could not keep the rebound near her. Kennady Whitehead was there to collect the loose ball and ripped the back of the net with her shot, making it a 6-1 ballgame.
But Manogue wasn’t done pouring on the pressure.
Hannah Collins sent a cross in front of the goal, which possibly could have been blocked by three different Raider defenders. Instead, it got through to Maggie McGoldrick for an easy score in the 62nd minute.
The Miners got their final goal with four minutes left as Hernandez used an inside-out move while dribbling the ball to get past the last Blue and Gold defender. Hernandez went down the right sideline for a breakaway goal.
“I’m trying to think of a goal they really did earn today,” Saville said. “They deserved the win because they worked harder than we did. They talked more and were more intense. I don’t think they deserved to beat us 8-1. But if we’re going to give them six, then it’s going to be really difficult for us.”
Reed (2-3-3) is back in High Desert League action when it goes on the road to North Valleys Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m.
Manogue still trails Damonte in the Sierra League standings. The Miners are 5-2-1, while the Mustangs improved to 6-2.