By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.—Though the score might’ve not been in the Cascade Lady Cougars favor by the end of the match versus Gladstone in the 4A Quarterfinals Saturday night, they did one thing that they can take away from this game:
They never gave up. They kept fighting no matter if it was 1-1, or 3-1 in the 3-2 loss, they believed they were in it to win it no matter what.
“Our team, we have a lot of fight in us, every single one of us. We don’t give up,” said Emma Woods. “We all go 100 percent. I know we’re going to beat ourselves up after this but we’ve grown every season. Last season, we lost in the first round in the playoffs. This year quarterfinals and we could look into the future to build on this and put it all in next year.”
Here’s how the second half went down as the Cougars attempted on last hurrah under the lights at Federico Field with the home crowd cheering them on from the stands.
Down 1-0 to start the second half, Cascade came out firing at all cylinders as they did to start the game and had tied it in the early going of the second half.
Trying for the lead, Brooklynn Petterson shot barely go off the mark as they continued their physical presence on the offensive front.
But, the Gladiators took the rebound and had marched down the pitch and would add to their lead. Twice did Gladstone score to lead 3-1 at about the halfway mark of the final half.
As they lined up for the ensuring kickoff, Cascade didn’t quit as they reminded each other of the Philomath game at home a few weeks ago.
“The frustration was obviously there,” Faith Craig described the environment and the frustrations at the time. “We just had to keep fighting and just keep going and my back talked a lot and I talked to them a lot so that kind of helped us keep organized when it was chaotic like that.”
They fought as 1 made a goal to make it 3-2 midway through the 2nd half as their offense and defense battled.
Around them, the Cougar crowd was cheering Cascade on while the Gladiator fan base cheered on their squad.
On the sideline, Head Coach Skip Collins was seen hopping, cheering and yelling his team on as his team tried to mount a comeback as they battled. 16 came close on a free kick and they’re defense were showing that the three goals rhey allowed were accident and didn’t affect them.
“Skip is awesome,” said Woods with laugh and a smile on her coach doing Skip things on the sidelines. “He’s always been our number one supporter and everything’s encouraging but he does know how to push us. How to get on our nerves to make us work harder.
“He’s a great guy and I’m so proud to have him as a coach.”
With a combination of confidence, their coach, team and crowd, Cascade were close again and again, and though frustrations were there, so was confidence that they’ll tie the ball game up before the final whistle blew.
But it in the cards for the Lady Cougars as Gladstone found a way to hold on for the 3-2 victory to advance to the Semi-Final Round Tuesday.
And as they walked as a team to the Cascade baseball dugout, there’s a lot to be proud of as they continue to build towards something fantastic.
“I’m so proud of every single of these girls,” said Craig. “Every single one of these girls fought their hearts out and they did their absolute best, I could ask for anymore.”
As the team walked out of the dugout and went to grab their things, they won’t forget the feelings of when they went to thank the home crowd, they saw a good amount of Black and Yellow there at their side.
As for the fame cheering from coach, well it’s just Skip being Skip and him having faith and confidence in his girls.
“Our girls can win any game they want, it just didn’t happen today and it’s ok,” started Collins. “As long as we can take this game and learn from it and let it shape us. Not just for soccer, but for life, it’s really why we play this game anyway. But it was fun, it was enthusiastic, it was great to have the crowd.
“It was the first time ever that a girls soccer team has ever been in the stadium under the lights, our team was making history and that’s what we did this year. I can’t be any more proud of the girls.”
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