Soccer girls stay alive with win over Reynolds

Team awaits Barlow/Gresham outcome to determine league's fourth playoff spot

The HRV girls soccer team kept its playoff dreams intact Monday, Oct. 22 with a 5-2 win over Reynolds.

Mickie Halliday and Acer Lopez each had two goals and an assist, and Becca Meierbachtol added one goal and one assist as the Eagles dominated the second half of play on a windy day in east Portland.

Lindsay Benjamin and Jazzy Cohen also delivered assists in the victory that put HRV at 4-3-1 in the conference (including a Parkrose forfeit today) and tied for fourth place in the standings.

Monday's win, combined with the forfeit win, could be enough to get the Eagles into the state tournament after Barlow and Gresham face off Wednesday.

If Barlow wins, HRV would be the fourth seed going into state. However, if Gresham wins, the Eagles would have to play Barlow in a winner-take-all playoff some time next week.

But beating Reynolds Oct. 22 was a big step toward achieving the team’s season goal of making the playoffs.

"Overall, we played a really solid game," assistant coach Clark Bryant said. "Mickie and Acer did an especially good job of following shots in the second half, which helped us pull away."

Halliday scored in the 66th minute on a pass from Meierbachtol, and then just one minute later, she delivered a perfect pass to Lopez, who made the score 4-2.

Meierbachtol finally got on the scoreboard in the 77th minute on a pass from Cohen.

Defensively, Elie Meierbachtol, Lisa Tedford and Jody Gates did an excellent job of managing the back despite the windy, slippery conditions. Goalkeeper Meghan Merz also had a quality game in net, registering five saves.

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By Candice Hoag, News Intern

The Hood River Valley girls soccer team continued its roller-coaster ride through the Mt. Hood Conference this week, beating David Douglas 3-0 on Oct. 16, and losing to Central Catholic 5-0 on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Tuesday's game at David Douglas was a must-win game for the Eagles to keep them in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. Despite the gloomy weather and the chewed-up football field they played on, the Eagles stepped up to the challenge and got the win it needed to stay alive.

Just 18 minutes into the first half, Mickie Halliday broke through the midfield and delivered a near perfect cross to Jazzy Cohen, who finished it off, giving the Eagles their first goal of the game.

But they didn't stop there. Only five minutes later Becca Meierbachtol played a solid through ball to Acer Lopez who made a quick move past a defender and put the ball in the back of the net.

Meierbachtol had been controlling the entire game with her quick moves and smart passes, and it was only a matter of time before she had her way with the David Douglas goalie.

She finally got her chance early in the second half, and made a diving slide to finish a cross from Lindsay Benjamin to make the score 3-0.

Coach Sue Farro decided to mix up things up for this game, and changed the lineup around, starting three players in different postions.

One would think that it would take time for the girls to adjust, but that wasn't the case as HRV continued to play its game, switching the field and sending through balls to the forwards.

Farro moved Cohen up to forward and replaced her at center midfield with Lisa Tedford. Halliday dropped back to stopper to fill Tedford's position.

"Mickie had a huge game for us on defense. She really stepped up and shut the Scots offense down," Farro said. "Elie (Meierbachtol) also had a big game on defense. No one could get by her."

Anna Hidle also had an exceptional game against David Douglas, and replaced HRV's starting keeper Meghan Merz in goal for the second half of the game. The Scots never mounted much of an offense throughout the half, but on the rare occasion that they did, Hidle was there to back her team up. Farro said Hidle will see more time in goal as the season progresses.

And she did, in the second half against Central Catholic on Oct. 18 -- although the pace was much quicker than the David Douglas game.

The Eagles were right in it at halftime, trailing 1-0, but an aggressive, opportunistic Central team pulled away as the game went on, with accurate passes and a series of direct and indirect free kicks.

"Central Catholic is a good team, but I don't think they're as good as Centennial," Farro said. "The Centennial girls set a much faster pace for the game."

The Eagles were up to the challenge in the first half, and put together some scoring opportunities of their own — one, a breakaway goal by Halliday that was called back due to offsides. Acer Lopez also had a few chances in both halves, but was not able to find the net.

On defense, Elie Meierbachtol, Lindsay McClure and Jody Gates turned away numerous Rams' scoring chances, but a relentless C.C. attack finally wore them down.

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