The boys soccer team fell 2-0 at Cascade on Wednesday, October 9 — but they played some of their best soccer of the year.

Cascade controlled the ball and dictated the tempo early, but the Outlaws defense settled in and momentum shifted their way about 20 minutes into the game.

Coach Jeff Husmann said, “We’ve been doggedly working on playing small ball as a unit in the midfield the past couple of weeks, and we have certainly improved. This allowed us to move the ball into the finishing third of Cascade. We had offensive opportunities, as did Cascade, but both goalies played well the entire game.”

At the half, the score was deadlocked 0-0.

The second half continued much the same, with both sides losing and gaining momentum. Husmann told The Nugget that play was very aggressive and wasn’t held in check as much as it needed to be. Toward the end, Oscar Rhett suffered an injury to the back of the neck while he was on the ground as keeper, and the game was delayed for 25 minutes.

“It was scary, as he needed to be back-boarded off the field,” said Husmann. “The team was visibly and understandably upset by the loss of their starting goalkeeper, as he was taken to the hospital. He’s OK and recovering from a mild concussion.”

Cascade scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the contest and got the win.

“I’m so proud of the manner in which this team played today, and more importantly, how they handled a challenging situation,” said Husmann. “Their heads and hearts were with the injured teammate and friend. While the 2-0 loss stings, it’s their collective character that I am most proud of.”

Husmann noted Noah Pittman and Gavin Christian (both sophomores) for their outstanding play.

“Noah played his best match of the season,” said Husmann. “He’s been working hard learning to contain players, rather than stab in, and it certainty showed today. He had his hands full with their crafty strikers. Gavin demonstrated an increasing maturity in his role as an outside midfielder.”

The Outlaws were scheduled to play at Woodburn on Tuesday, October 15. They will play at home against Philomath on Thursday.