The Lady Outlaws soccer defense has been stellar, and this week was no different. Sisters started their week with a 3-0 shutout at home over Newport, and two days later they posted a 1-0 shut out on the road against Philomath, for their seventh league shutout of the season.  On Saturday, October 24, Sisters hosted top-ranked Woodburn and lost that contest 0-2. 

Sisters went into their game on Tuesday against Newport with intensity, effort, and determination. They played confidently on their own grass in front of the home crowd and walked away with the win. The defense played another exceptional game and recorded another shutout.

The Outlaws immediately came out and pressured Newport, but the Cubs kept the Outlaws on their toes, and nothing came easy.

In the 23rd minute Sisters got on the scoreboard. The ball was played wide to Lily Sundstrom, who cut inside and found Hollie Lewis. Lewis turned and hit a long- range shot over the keeper’s head for the score.

Three minutes later, Anya Shockley got fouled in the box. Shockley took the penalty kick and with a well-struck shot drove the ball straight down the middle and into the goal. At the half the Outlaws held the Cubs scoreless at 2-0.

Sundstrom scored Sister’s final goal at the 56 minute-mark. Marley Holden played the ball to Sundstrom, who cut inside and scored.

“It was an amazing goal,” said Coach Brian Holden. “There was a lot of pace on the shot, with shape, bending it over the goalie’s head.”

Holden took advantage of the lead and gave the younger players minutes on the field, and took the opportunity to switch up players and positions.

Holden gave credit for the win to his wing players.

“The credit for our win was the involvement of our wings (Lily Sundstrom, Emma Lutz, Katie Ryan, Lindsey Scott, and Brooke Harper). The girls know their role: when to provide width, when to get forward, and when to switch fields.”

Sisters faced Philomath on the Lady Warriors senior night in front of their home crowd and played the entire game in a downpour. 

The Outlaws played their hearts out, had a few opportunities to score, including a couple of fast-breaks from Lewis and Shockley, but they just couldn’t put the ball away.

Philomath was able to get a couple of outside shots, but Patton did a great job as keeper in the wet conditions. The Warriors took a shot, but Patton used her strong hands to tip the ball over the net for the save. She had another stellar save when a Philomath player crossed the ball in. Patton tipped the ball away and another Lady Warrior was there to follow up. Patton came out of the goal, made herself big, and got the deflection for the save.

At the half the score was even at 0-0.

In the second half Philomath made some adjustments and tried to find a crack in the Outlaw’s defense.

Sisters players attacked the goal. Reese Harwell hit the post, Emma Lutz had a shot that was tipped over, and Maggie Lutz came close on a through ball, but unfortunately none of the shots went in. 

Finally, at approximately the 75th minute of the contest the Outlaws scored. The ball was played into the box, then forty-fived with a pass back to Harwell, who was on top of the 18. Harwell did a great job of striking the ball into the upper left corner for the goal.

“Reese had a great goal and chose placement over power,” said Holden.

Philomath played their best in the final 10 minutes and kept pushing the ball forward. With five minutes left, the Warriors got the ball through to a forward. Sage Wyland chased her down and a good 50/50 challenge ensued. Wyland knocked the Philomath player to the ground and the referee

called a foul. Wyland

was given a yellow card and the Warriors were awarded a free kick. The shot went right into Patton’s hands for the save.

“Without Sage contesting that ball, foul or no foul, it could have resulted in a goal,” said Holden.

The Outlaws continued to defend, finished the game with confidence, and posted the win. They played as a unit and never allowed Philomath to get comfortable on the ball.

Holden noted Patton for her stellar play in the goal.

“I continue to praise Josie for her focus and improvement as our goal keeper,” said Holden. “In my mind, without a doubt, she should be in contention for goalkeeper of the year.”

The demanding three-game week ended with the Lady Outlaws suffering a loss to top-ranked Woodburn at home on Saturday. The Bulldogs boast a very good squad, with many club-ball players and girls with a lot of experience. The well-coached squad had an advantage, as they can pull players from a pool of over 1,400 students.

Woodburn scored both their goals in the first half of the contest.

Holden said, “We came out to win because a win would have put us in first place. We did a good job of getting forward, but unfortunately we didn’t take care of the ball. Our passes weren’t connected, and our first touch was off.”

“We did pressure them and we did have oppor-tunities,” added Holden. “We just need to fine-tune against better teams. Even though Woodburn is a much bigger school and many of their players play club ball, our girls have demonstrated they are capable of playing at that level, and they should believe that and not be intimidated.”

The Oregon West Conference is a tough league, boasting three of the top ten teams in the state, including Woodburn, Philomath, and Sisters. Holden told The Nugget that the competitiveness of the league has its benefits, and playing against Woodburn and Philomath has primed the Outlaws to play good soccer. 

With the loss against Woodburn, the Outlaws dropped from second place to just one point below Philomath for third place. They were scheduled to play at home on Tuesday, October 26, in their final league game of the season. Regardless of the outcome, their eighth-place ranking in the state should secure them a spot in the playoffs.