Gladstone girls' soccer season ends with 2-1 playoff loss at La Grande
La Grande senior Kara Gooderham was in the right place at the right time Saturday night.
Gooderham turned around a clearing attempt with a shot that sailed just under the crossbar from 35 yards out in the 79th minute, lifting the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Gladstone Gladiators in Saturday's OSAA Class 4A girls' soccer quarterfinals at Community Stadium in La Grande.
After a scoreless first half, Gladstone's Brianna Lewis scored in the 54th minute, but La Grande's Lexee Gomes answered in the 58th minute and then Gooderham scored the game-winner to lift the No. 2 Tigers (14-0) into Tuesday's semifinals against Valley Catholic.
The Tri-Valley League-champion Gladiators had their 11-game unbeaten streak snapped and finished the season at 11-4-1.
"It was a really good, back-and-forth game," Gladstone coach Tyler Lewis said. "La Grande had the run of play as far as possession goes, but in terms of chance on goal, I think we had more chances.
"It was just one of those game where we were eight going to take advantage of our chances or La Grande was going to have enough possession that they were going to create an opportunity or two. And that's kind of what happened.
"We had some chances, but the ball didn't bounce the right way for us."
The Gladiators, coming off a 6-0 home win over Baker in Tuesday's playoff opener, took a 1-0 lead Saturday when Brianna Lewis hit a left-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box across the goal and inside the right post.
Four minutes late, La Grande answered after Gladstone keeper Aaliyah Asad made the initial save on a shot from inside the 18, but left the rebound where Gomes, the Tigers' senior forward, was able to redirect it into the net before the Gladiators could clear it.
With less than two minutes remaining, Gladstone turned back another La Grande attack, only to see the clearing attempt fall to Gooderham, who drove the ball just out of Asad's reach and into the back of the net.
"A ball got cleared out and not quite far enough," Tyler Lewis said. "Their girl took a big hit and it was one of those you just kind of hit the ball and hope something good happens.
"We had a few chances in the last couple of minutes. There were a couple of fouls out in the field and we were able to push numbers forward, including our keeper. The ball bounced around a couple times in the 18, but we just couldn't get that second one."
The Gladiators, making their 14 consecutive playoff appearance, saw their record in the quarterfinals over that stretch fall to 6-5.
"I think we feel pretty good about how the season went overall," Tyler Lewis said. "We're a little disappointed that it ended a week earlier than we wanted, but we're definitely proud of what we were able to accomplish this year."
GLADSTONE 6, BAKER 0: Brianna Lewis scored three goals, Rylee Nordby added two, and Jami Anderson had one to lead the Gladiators to a victory over the visiting Bulldogs in Tuesday's playoff opener at Dick Baker Stadium.
Gladstone outshot the Bulldogs 24-2, including an 18-0 advantage in shots on goal as Gladiators advanced to the quarterfinals for the 11th time in the past 13 seasons.
The Gladiators led 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Lewis in the eighth minute, and then erupted in the second half with goals by Nordby in the 47th minute, Lewis in the 49th minute, Nordby in the 52nd minute, Lewis in the 59th minute, and Anderson in the 80th minute.
-- From staff reports
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