Olivia Hougham moves the ball upfield in Outlaws soccer action. photo by Jerry Baldock
Olivia Hougham moves the ball upfield in Outlaws soccer action. photo by Jerry Baldock
The girls soccer squad fell 4-2 at home to the Stayton Eagles on Tuesday, September 24, and two days later on the road tied with Sweet Home in a final score of 1-1.

In Tuesday’s match-up against the Eagles, Stayton scored on a quick break just five minutes into the contest and took a 1-0 lead.

Sisters’ Hollie Lewis broke away from the pack and scored on the keeper just 10 minutes later to even the score 1-1.

Midway through the half, Olivia Hougham was fouled outside the 18, and the Outlaws got a free kick. Hallie Schwartz took the shot and kicked it over the wall into the upper-right corner from 20 yards out and gave the Outlaws the go-ahead goal.

With five minutes left in the half, the Eagles tied it back up with a shot in front of the box.

Sisters had many great opportunities to score in the second half, on both corner kicks and breakaways, but just couldn’t finish.

Stayton knocked in two more goals and recorded the win.

Coach Brain Holden noted both Hallie Schwartz and Lexie Miller.

“Hallie’s physical play and fitness really helped our team in the middle, and Lexie stepped into a new position at center midfield and did very well. Lexie’s physical play and positioning on the field made it difficult for Stayton to dribble through the middle of our team.”

The young Outlaws have been short of players due to injuries and illness, and Olivia Hougham, Oly Thorson, Mattie Symond, Reese Harwell, and Josie Patton had to move to different positions, and they’ve all done a great job of picking up the slack.

Holden said, “This was the best game our team has played this season, regardless of the score. The team really came together by connecting passes, physical play, and scoring goals. We hope to keep building on that.”

Two days later, the Outlaws played even with the Huskies.

Both teams’ defense played extremely well, and at the half the score was even at 0-0. The second half continued much the same, but with 10 minutes left in the game, the Outlaws scored off a penalty kick, and took the lead. Hougham was fouled in the penalty box and Schwartz kicked it in. The shot touched the post and went into the right side of the goal.

Sweet Home answered with a score off a free kick with four minutes left on the clock and the score held at 1-1 until the final whistle.

Holden told The Nugget that his girls played great and high-pressured the Lady Huskies the entire night. The Outlaws were in front of the goal 80 percent of the time, had many opportunities to score, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Holden noted both the Outlaws’ goalkeepers, Reese Harwell and Josie Patton, saying both players have developed their skills tremendously over the first half of league play.

The Outlaws wrapped up the first half of conference play with a 1-3-2 record and are ready to face their opponents for the second time.

“We’re finding a better shape and rhythm for our team, and the girls have a better understanding of the roles they need to play on the field,” said Holden. “Hopefully, we can take care of each other and limit our injuries, and we’ll have more success the second half. Obviously, we know more about the teams we play, the key players to watch, and our goal is still to make it to the playoffs.”

The Outlaws will play at Newport on Friday, October 4.