Paige Allen’s Lone Goal Enough To Get #1 La Grande Past Seaside 1-0

Seaside — After driving over five hours and almost 400 miles one way, the top-ranked La Grande Tigers took on the Seaside Seagulls on a windy, 63-degree day on the Oregon Coast. The host Seagulls entered the day seeking their first win of the season, while #1 La Grande looked to improve to 2-0 on the season.

With the wind directly affecting the game, it made things quite a circus throughout the afternoon. Seaside got the first crack at things in the 13th minute, as La Grande made a sloppy attempt to clear it out of their territory, shooting it directly at Tiger goalkeeper Lyndie Isaacson at point blank range. Lyndie would make a great save, keeping Seaside off the board and a scoreless game. After a lot of back-and-forth action without much substance, La Grande’s Paige Allen got a 1v1 attempt with the goalkeeper, finishing it in the top right corner of the net to get on the board with a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. Playing against the wind, struggles to clear it would continue for La Grande down the stretch of the half, as Seaside made a hard push to take advantage of the mistakes, but the Tigers hung on to keep a 1-0 lead at halftime over Seaside.

As the script flipped with the wind now at their backs, La Grande started to dominate the midfield and get more opportunities on offense. In the 54th minute, a pair of prime opportunities presented themselves for the Tigers to extend their lead, but Abygale Brien made a pair of gutsy, stellar saves to deny La Grande and keep it a 1-0 game. The second half tested Abygale’s stamina and ability to patrol her zone, as the Tigers took numerous cracks at the goal to add an insurance goal, but she shut them down each time. In the final ten minutes, Seaside made their hardest push of the game at La Grande, managing to get a couple of good looks at Lyndie, but she would make the saves and subsequently clear it out of danger with the wind in her favor. #1 La Grande would go on to win it 1-0 over Seaside, bringing a dub back to Eastern Oregon and remaining undefeated in the early going of things.

Dissecting The Team – La Grande

Sure, the wind certainly played a major factor and forced them to adjust, but you can’t knock them on much. The biggest issues came with the inability to clear the ball, giving Seaside a few opportunities to score and forcing Lyndie to make some clutch saves. Aside from that, their defense was tightened in the second half and the midfield was excellent after the half, a sign of what things look like when the weather is calmer. On offense, Seaside frustrated them with their physicality and disruption, which is something that they’ll need to practice and learn to work through. All in all, a win is a win, but always work to do even when you’re ranked #1 in 4A.

Dissecting The Team – Seaside

Being honest, I walked away more impressed by Seaside than I came in. As I say, a record isn’t always a true reflection of how good a team really is, and the Seagulls are better than their 0-3 record. Abygale Brien is a diamond in the rough as a goalkeeper, not enough words could describe how impressed I was with her performance, and she was certainly my player of the game out of everyone. The Seaside offense was decent, but they still found themselves shut out for the third straight game, as they couldn’t execute on the prime opportunities that they had.

On defense, I think Seaside is definitely a work in progress with tightening up and holding down the fort, instead of leaving it up to Abygale to make a great save. Props to their physicality and challenging of the ball, but it always seemed to come when La Grande was already deep into their territory. This team isn’t terrible, they could actually challenge Scappoose for their league title, but they have their work cut out for them on both sides of the ball.

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