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Cowgirls fail to hold lead in loss to Ravens
Crook County falls 5-4 after rolling to 3-0 halftime lead
Jena Ovens slips the ball past a Ridgeview defender during the first half of the Cowgirls 5-4 loss to the Ravens. Ovens finished with two goals in the match.
October 04, 2012
It was a tale of two halves.
The Crook County Cowgirls controlled the ball for much of the first half as they ran out to a seemingly insurmountable lead over the Ridgeview Ravens in Special District I soccer action. The Cowgirls had a 3-0 lead at halftime, only to see it slip away late as the Ravens came from behind to escape with a 5-4 victory.
“You know, I think that we were playing a team that actually were really good fundamentally, and it took them a while to wake up,” said Crook County head coach Rich Abrams. “I was really disappointed, but after thinking about it overnight, I think we played really well.”
The Cowgirls first goal came as a result of a serious mistake by one of Ridgeview’s defenders. Crook County’s Abby Curtis lofted the ball toward the goal and a Ridgeview defender attempted to head a ball out of the goal area and instead mistakenly hit the ball backward over the outstretched arms of the Raven goalie. The “own goal” gave the Cowgirls a 1-0 lead midway through the half.
The Cowgirls continued to keep the pressure on and five minutes later, Jena Ovens was able to get behind the Raven defense and score an unassisted goal.
“Jena’s goal was something we have worked on all week,” Abrams said. “We have been working on just sliding the ball to one side or the other. She got one breakaway the whole game, but she made it count.”
Miranda Smith scored a third goal for the Cowgirls just seconds before halftime, giving the Cowgirls a 3-0 lead.
Ridgeview’s Hailie Leersen split a pair of Cowgirl defenders early in the second half to make the score 3-1. Minutes later, Bailey Simmons added a second goal for the Ravens. Then Simmons added a second goal for the Ravens.
However, when Ovens scored her second goal of the match on a perfect crossing pass from Smith, it looked like the Cowgirls were still in the driver’s seat.
Then Simmons went on a late tear, scoring three goals in the game’s final 15 minutes as the Ravens were able to pull off the comeback.
Crook County still had a chance to tie the game late in the match, but missed a penalty kick and Ridgeview escaped with the win.
“I think that we were pretty tired in the second half,” Abrams said. “I have to remember that our goal is just to get better than last year because this was a winnable game. You can see the end right there. It’s reachable — it’s close enough that you can reach out and touch it. We know that we could have won. But we can still win district coming back to our field. If we can win by one goal and keep them down to three, we would actually win because of goal differential.”
With the win, the Ravens are 3-4 overall and 1-0 in Special District I while Crook County falls to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in district play.
The two teams meet again in Prineville on Thursday, Oct. 18. Should Ridgeview win or tie, they will win the league title outright, while the Cowgirls must either win by at least two goals, or win and hold the Ravens to three goals or fewer in order to win the district championship.
Crook County was back in action on Thursday against an always-tough Summit squad, then host Sweet Home on Saturday in an 11 a.m. contest.