Beaverton — Sometimes it takes a strong start to make a strong impression, and the Sunset Apollos did just that on Monday night against the Lincoln Cardinals, who were ranked #8 in the Elite Oregon Girls Preseason Rankings coming into the evening. A pairing to watch for in this game was the battle of scorers: Ellie Felt for Sunset and Alana Harry for Lincoln, both of whom are the offensive staples for their respective squads.
The action was early and often in this game, as Lincoln had two solid opportunities in the first ten minutes of the game. Their first attempt was a missile shot from the top of the box, which was handled by Sunset goalkeeper Elle Hamilton. Then, Lincoln had a good attempt that drilled the crossbar, setting up a run to the other end by the Apollos and a shot on Lincoln goalkeeper Annabel Porter, but Porter denied it and the game remained scoreless in the tenth minute. Moving ahead to the 18th minute, Lincoln had two scoring chances in the same possession: One was partially blocked by the back line of defense, then a follow-up was denied by Hamilton on a diving stop, setting up Sunset with a counterattack on the other end.
Unlike their scoring chance eight minutes earlier, the Apollos wouldn’t mess up on this one, as Isabella Farias finished off the job with a shot into the net and handing Sunset a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. The next two minutes were chaotic action, as shots were hitting the crossbars of both nets, along with Porter and Hamilton making big saves for their teams in the net. After ending the first half leading 1-0, Sunset took control in the second half, dominating the possession even more than they had earlier in the game. It would pay off in the 56th minute when Ellie Felt delivers a strike to the right side of the net, extending the Sunset lead to 2-0 against Lincoln. The final dagger would come a couple minutes later when Leia Miguel added to the advantage in the 60th minute, securing a 3-0 advantage that proved to be the final score in the game, giving the Apollos a clean sheet win over Lincoln.
Lincoln: Their offense had momentum and was finding good looks, but it seemed as if the frustration of not scoring ultimately led to their downfall. Kudos to the Cardinals for giving it their all on offense, but the defense could use some work on tightening up around the box, giving a better hand to Porter in the net.
Sunset: The Apollos did everything right on offense, waiting for their chances and pulling the trigger when they had an opportunity. This persistence led to the dub, as they controlled the midfield to keep Lincoln at bay and block their momentum with a 1-0 lead. Defensively, you can’t complain about a clean sheet for Hamilton, who was great in the net for Sunset in the win.
Sunset (1-0) travels to Rex Putnam on Thursday, #8 Lincoln (0-1) heads to Bend and plays Summit on Saturday