Girls soccer beginning to click

Team wins third straight convincing decision

If you attended the Hood River Valley girls soccer game against Madison Tuesday, you might have heard a strange sound.

It was the sound of the team clicking.

Only three games into the regular season, and this team is already starting to hit a postseason stride, winning its third straight game, 3-0 over Madison.

"The team is really starting to come around as a unit," coach Sue Farro said. "They're accenting a lot of the things we've worked on in practice, and it's showing in the final results."

Jazzy Cohen and Becca Meierbachtol controlled -- in fact, dominated -- the middle of the field, setting up one scoring chance after another with their skillful passing and off-the-ball runs.

Mickie Halliday and Lisa Tedford anchored the back line, and still found opportunities to get involved with the offense. Tedford played much like a center midfielder, getting up and back the whole game, and taking just as many shots as the forwards.

The front-line attack was orchestrated by the speedy sophomore Acer Lopez, who appears to have not one ounce of quit in her tiny frame.

Farro was also happy with the play of her outside midfielders, senior Lindsey Benjamin and junior Lindsey McClure, pointing to their ability to get involved in both the offense and defense.

The shutout wouldn't have been complete without senior goalkeeper Meghan Merz, who was quick off her line all day and made multiple diving stops late in the game.

The win was a team effort, but Cohen and Meierbachtol indeniably controlled the match from the outset, combining on countless one-touch passing series and moving the ball upfield with fluidity and grace.

The Eagles finally got on the board in the 30th minute. Tedford stole the ball in the left corner and immediately crossed it to the penalty spot, where Meierbachtol was waiting. She sent a header into the upper right corner to make it 1-0.

HRV came out firing again early in the second half. Lopez continually got in behind the defense and frustrated the goalkeeper enough to set up the second goal of the match.

Cohen retrieved the ball at the top of the box, danced around three or four defenders, cut back and sent a bullet past the diving keeper into the lower right corner.

Less than five minutes later, Tedford found a seam deep in the zone and chipped the ball just over the hands of the poorly positioned goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

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