Hermiston and Clarkston proved to be evenly matched in their nonleague match on Saturday afternoon at Kennison Field in Hermiston.
Both girls soccer teams held each other off and kept their goals safe until the clock ran out, ending regulation in a 0-0 tie.
Clarkston (3-2, 1-2) won an equally intense shootout, 4-2, to take the win over the Bulldogs (0-8, 0-6 MCC)
Hermiston’s Sydney Seavert and Elsa Torres took several shots on goal in the first half, missing wide. Clarkston midfielder Cortney Bogar fired a high-flying kick toward Hermiston goalie Lanie Gomez, but Gomez was quick to dive in the ball’s path.
The second half was brutal. Bulldog midfielder Jayden Ray went for a header after a kick from Clarkston center-back Taylor Bogle and was injured. She was then taken out of the game. And that wasn’t the only head injury: Bogar and Hermiston midfielder Cyndey Lind collided in an attempt to possess the ball after a free throw, and both were taken out of the game.
The Lady Bulldogs were already down two key players going into the game — defenders Giselle Cisneros and Maralyne Pacheco were both absent from the field on Saturday. Cisneros hurt her ankle during Thursday’s game against Walla Walla, and Pacheco bruised her foot during a recent practice.
“Ray is one of our key center-mids, and Syd is one of our captains,” said Hermiston coach Freddy Guizar. “That kind of blow really took a toll on our team.”
When regulation ended, both teams returned to the field to face off in a “golden goal” overtime — the first team to score a goal in the allotted five minutes would win. It’s a different format than OSAA, where games can end in a tie.
But those five minutes came and went, as did a second five-minute overtime. To declare a victor once and for all, it was time for a shootout — both teams lined up along the 50-yard line and watched as individual players each took a shot at a 10-yard goal.
Hermiston midfielders Lana Torres and Jizelle Gonzalez both found the net for the Bulldogs, but thanks to Clarkston center-backs Lauren Johnson and Mackayla McCabe, and midfielders Luella Skinner and Jenna Allen, the Bantams came out on top, handing Hermiston their eighth loss of the season.
“It was something different that we’re not used to,” Guizar said of the tiebreaker round. “The pressure’s really on, and you can’t recreate that in practice. It’s nerve-racking, especially for Lanie. It was a great game for her — they didn’t have many shots on us, and she blocked most of them.”
Hermiston is now 0-8 overall and 0-7 for the district. They’ll host Hanford on Tuesday — the team that beat them in their season opener.
“These girls are a family, no matter what,” Guizar said. “I always tell them, ‘Those are your sisters out there.’ They’ll get each other back up and ready to face Hanford again.”