Homecoming Halo: #3 OES Upsets #1 Catlin Gabel 1-0

Beaverton — Call your sons! Call your daughters! Call your friends! Call your neighbors! OES has beaten Catlin Gabel! In a game where the Eagles had so much fire on offense and pushed the Aardvarks to their brink defensively, the ball ultimately refused to go into the net and was stopped by an exhausted defense that had been pushed to their limits. The final result extinguished a fire and ignited another one, all with the theme of homecoming weekend making it more explosive and significant.

OES and Catlin Gabel battled early on, keeping the ball in the midfield and trading possessions. The Eagles and Aardvarks both had opportunities to make plays in the first 20 minutes, with defense winning the battle on both sides. In the 32nd minute, OES would strike on the scoreboard when Kate Pulley delivered a beautiful shot from the left side to the right corner of the net, giving the Aardvarks a 1-0 lead. The Eagles would push it more offensively to close the half, coming as close as a crossbar away from tying it, but the score would remain the same entering the break.

Catlin Gabel, being held scoreless in the first half, turned up the intensity from 100% to 1,000,000% in the second half. The Eagles would have a list of opportunities to tie the game, starting in the 52nd minute when they missed an open shot wide left and out of play. In the 53rd, they were completely on target and drilled a shot on net, but OES netminder Cameron Gabrielson made an absurd stop with a diving save and keeping it 1-0. In the 55th minute, Catlin Gabel had a wide open net right side but after a scramble in front of Gabrielson, the Eagles prime opportunity was broken up by Zoe Bullard and they left empty handed again.

The frustration was building with every passing minute, with everything coming to a head in the 63rd minute. The Eagles delivered a beautiful set play on a corner kick, scoring to tie it but it was declared offsides and the goal nullified. This started to effect the efficiency of the Eagles offensively, as it started to look more like angry play instead of focused play. After more and more empty handed possessions, Catlin Gabel had a direct shot on net in the 68th minute without Gabrielson in the way, but the shot went like a punt and it wasn’t able to be executed on.

Down the stretch, Catlin Gabel had two more prime chances in the 70th and 78th minutes, with one hitting the crossbar and cleared while the other was a one timer robbed by an aware Gabrielson. Time would eventually wind down, with OES picking up the 1-0 upset victory and a student section rushing the field in celebration of their significant achievement on homecoming weekend. What was expected to be a Catlin Gabel blowout turned into an OES upset and argument for the #1 spot in 3A/2A/1A come Sunday’s updated power rankings.

Game Takeaways

OES: The Aardvarks should be buying dinner for their back line: Malia Perry, Mia Robertson, Zoe Bullard, and stud goalkeeper Cameron Gabrielson. These ladies were pinned for most of the second half, fighting off opportunity after opportunity, ultimately walking out of the battle victorious. It might’ve been Kate Pulley’s netter that got the dub on the scoreboard, but those four ladies are the true heroes in their upset of Catlin Gabel. If the offense can garner control of the ball longer, it would certainly help the defense be more energized late instead of them being drained with 20-25 minutes left.

Catlin Gabel: Oh man Eagles…..so many chances yet nothing came of it. Big props to Elise Kim, Annika Sirtori, Alicia Ye, Lola Diaz-Gonzalez, and Campbell Swaim for their critical roles in keeping the pressure on the Aardvark defense in the second half. These ladies were the primary roles in controlling the ball in the middle, distributing it back to the OES side of the field, and making playmaking opportunities to try and break the goose egg. Their defense was stellar with the exception of the goal allowed, and the offense was nothing short of good. If the Eagles can just connect the ball to the net, they’ll be back on top in no time, but for now they have to earn that back from OES next Friday.

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