Lakeview High School (LHS) girls soccer rebounded against La Pine on Wednesday, Sept. 15, winning 4-2.
The Honkers were able to find their offensive form after losing the previous game on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Brookings-Harbor.
It was another non-league game as there are only a handful of teams in the 3A/2A/1A-SD5 Special District 5 playing this year. Two teams — Rogue River and Illinois Valley — have decided not to field teams this year, leaving the league a three team race for the playoff positions. That means a lot of the games this year will be against non-league opponents.
The Honkers came out of the gate quickly, scoring a goal within the first minute and setting the tone for much of the rest of the game. Coach Cody Hamilton said previously that even though the girls soccer team is young, they are still going to play pressing soccer and overwhelm their opponents.
That is exactly what happened against La Pine, as throughout a large portion of the first half, and most of the second half, the Honkers did not make it easy for the Hawks to find their way out of their half of the field or to keep the ball.
The Honkers were tenacious in their defensive play, forcing the Hawks to make bad or ill-advised passes. These turnovers provided the opportunity for the Honkers to break quickly for scoring opportunities against the La Pine team. Mistakes on the defensive line led to scoring opportunities for the Honkers and allowed some early goals. The Honker defense did show some holes at the back, as the La Pine team was able to find some openings and took advantage of them to get shots on the goal, two of which found the back of the net.
Even though the Honkers took an early lead, and played pressing soccer throughout most of the game, the Hawks began to find their way back into the game as soon as the game began to settle into a rhythm. The Hawks clawed their way back into the game in the first half by scoring one goal before halftime. This is often a confidence booster for teams that are down, as it shows that there is still a way to come back.
Hamilton said the game was not the best the Honkers could have played, but he was happy they got the win against La Pine. He emphasized the need to get his young players used to playing the physical high school game; a large number of the team is made up of freshmen and they are still getting used to playing high school soccer.
One area in which the team has shown improvement is the fatigue factor, as the Honkers now have players they can bring onto the field to give other players a rest. Last year they did not have that option and players would often get fatigued in the second half, leading to the opposing team scoring goals.
Even though there are only a handful of league games, the non-league games will be an important way to determine who will finish at the top of the league heading into the playoffs.
The Honkers are 2-1 in 3A/2A/1A-SD5 Special District 5 league play and are currently first place in league play and ranked fourth in Oregon.
The Honkers travel to Prineville on Saturday, Sept. 25 to face Crook County. They are at home on Wednesday, Sept. 29 for a league game against Cascade Christian which begins at 4:30 p.m.