NORTH BEND, Ore. — The McLoughlin High girls soccer season came to an end as the Pioneers fell, 7-0, to North Bend in the first round of the Oregon state Class 4A playoffs here on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs’ Emma Powley connected on three goals in the first 15 minutes of play, as Mac-Hi trailed 4-0 at halftime.
Pioneers head coach Martin Martinez said his team had trouble containing Powley and the rest of the North Bend offense in the early going.
“There were just little mistakes,” Martinez said. “We couldn’t clear the ball right in front of the goal. We could not get back into rhythm.”
The Pioneers’ offense sputtered for much of the first half, Martinez said.
Mac-Hi was without senior forward Veronica Garcia, who missed the game because of an injury suffered against Stayton on Saturday.
Her absence definitely had an impact on the Pioneers’ offense, Martinez said.
“She’s the anchor up front,” Martinez said of Garcia. “Her presence makes a big difference. Just her being there pressuring that ball, making that defender make mistakes, lets our other attackers take shots on goal.”
Garcia had the Pioneers’ lone goal in their 1-0 victory over Stayton to propel them to the state round of 16.
The Pioneers finished with 10 shots, compared to 20 for the Bulldogs.
Martinez had high praise for his freshman goalie, Mallory Copeland, who stopped seven difficult shots on target, he said.
With eight freshmen on the roster, Martinez was proud of his team’s resiliency.
“It’s a good learning experience for them,” Martinez said. “It’s going to give them more character.”
The Pioneers finished the season 8-7 overall and 4-2 in Greater Oregon League action. Mac-Hi finished second in the conference standings to La Grande.
Martinez wished his four seniors — Garcia, Makia Carlson, Eddy Trevino and Victoria Correa — the best moving forward.
“Overall, I think my freshmen girls matured a lot, and my seniors did, too,” Martinez said. “They took in my freshmen. Over the season, both (groups) grew up. The freshmen stepping up and the seniors letting them in. We came together as a team.”