Girls soccer stays alive with tie

After dropping its first two conference games, the HRV girls soccer team was looking to get back on the winning track Monday against Barlow.

With their star center midfielder, Becca Meierbachtol, slowed by a hamstring injury and some concerns about their level of play last week against Gresham, the Eagles were looking for a lift.

And they got one, in the form of a speedy attacker who stands just five feet tall, but plays with the heart of a giant.

Sophomore forward Acer Lopez was all over the field Monday, and tallied two second half goals to help HRV earn a 3-3 tie at Westside Elementary.

Although the team didn't get the win is so desperately wanted, coach Sue Farro was happy to get a point in the conference standings.

"A win would have really helped a lot, and taken some of the pressure off us," she said. "But a tie doesn't hurt us in the standings."

Barlow showed why they are one of the favorites to win the Mt. Hood Conference this year, with quick passing, well-timed through balls and physical defense. But HRV played right with the Bruins the entire game, and maintained the lead until the 89th minute.

With time running short and HRV up 3-2, the ball was sent in from the left side and bounced around in the box before forward Ashley Shearer carefully placed it in the left side netting to even the score at 3.

Barlow had another chance in the game's final minute, but HRV goalkeeper Meghan Merz, who had 14 saves in the game, corralled the ball to secure the tie. Merz also made multiple diving saves in the second half to give the Eagles a chance against the feisty, well-coached Barlow side.

Like the Eagles, the Bruins always believe they have a chance to win, and showed their determination Monday in scrapping out a tie in the game's final minute. But despite Barlow’s never-say-die attitude, things were looking good for the Eagles.

They went into halftime with a one goal lead after Anna Hidle finished a superb cross from Meierbachtol early in the half. Then, just five minutes into the second half, Meierbachtol struck again, getting loose on the right side and sending a perfect cross to Lopez, who buried the ball in the left corner for a 2-0 lead.

Just five minutes later, Barlow got one goal back after an errant pass into the middle caught the HRV defense off guard. The Bruins later tied the score in the 75th minute on a beautiful far post shot by Megan Diebel.

However, Lopez didn't allow the Bruins to celebrate for long. Not even one minute later, she outsmarted a Barlow defender in the corner, took two dribbles and sent a bullet toward goal that the keeper couldn't control.

HRV stepped up the pace and continued to challenge the Bruins' defense until the final whistle. Lindsay McClure played tough at both outside midfield positions; Lisa Tedford, Jazzy Cohen and Meierbachtol outmuscled and outhustled the Bruins in the center of the field; while Lopez, Hidle and Mickie Halliday continually put pressure on the Bruins' defense.

But Barlow's counter-attack was equally strong, and they maintained their composure to salvage the tie late in the game.

"Barlow is a very good team that we should have beaten," Farro said. "We scored three times and that’s usually enough to win."

Despite allowing three second half goals, the defense of Elie Meierbachtol, Jody Gates and Candice Hoag sent away most every pass into the middle.

Cohen and Tedford also hustled back on defense and made some big plays in the air, but Barlow's quick front line proved it was up to the task.

The Eagles' goal of making the conference playoffs is still alive, and they will look to step up their game even higher today against Sandy.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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