LA GRANDE — The McLoughlin High School boys soccer team used a stalwart defensive effort to blank La Grande, 2-0, Thursday.
With Luis Saldana orchestrating the defense, the Pioneers restricted the Tigers to only four shots and three corner kicks, Mac-Hi head coach Jose Garcia said.
“Defensively, we played pretty good except some of the runs they were supposed to be making,” Garcia said. “Other than that, our defense played well.”
Saldana also chipped in a goal for the Pioneers (3-0). Nestaly Cazarez scored the other goal for Mac-Hi, who had trouble dealing with La Grande’s physicality, Garcia said.
He said the Tigers were trying to use their brawn to overpower Mac-Hi.
“We were not communicating and some of the plays were not timed (well),” Garcia said. “(La Grande is) capable of playing against anyone. They’re good players physically. The guys did good staying in the game.”
The Pioneers racked up 15 shots in the game, although Garcia said his squad must improve on timing and finishing its shots.
Mac-Hi hosts Baker Saturday at 2 p.m.
Mac-Hi girls fall to La Grande
LA GRANDE — The McLoughlin High School girls soccer team allowed six first half goals as La Grande routed the Pioneers, 8-0, Thursday.
Mac-Hi head coach Martin Martinez said the Tigers racked up around 40 shots on goal, compared to only 12 for the Pioneers (2-2).
“They’re a really tough competitor,” Martinez said of La Grande. “They’re a well-disciplined team. They move the ball well. They’ve been playing together since probably eighth grade.”
Martinez said the Tigers returned virtually the entire roster from last year’s district championship winning team.
Mac-Hi did rally in the second half, as Martinez moved his upperclassmen to the back of the field, which restricted the Tigers to only two second half goals.
Martinez said Mallory Copeland came up with two shots in front of the box that would usually score. But he said Copeland needed more zip on the shot in order to plant it in the back of the net.
“They were so close that if she would have gotten a good hit on it, they would have gone in,” Martinez said.
He said the team is holding a meeting today before Mac-Hi hosts Baker on Saturday.