By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Eight seconds remained when Riverdale lined up for their free kick following a yellow card against Blanchet Catholic with the standing at 1-nil in favor of the Lady Cav’s as the Mavericks were looking to try to tie it the game and to force overtime.
Blanchet Catholic’s Lauren Elmore was standing in goal, watching as Riverdale lined up for a chance to get one past the junior as they tried to square away where the whistle was blown for the foul.
“I was so scared, I had so many nerves because one of our players just got a yellow card and I thought the buzzer ahd already went off already so I was freaking out,” “But I knew right when they hit that shot, I had it.”
The lone goal in the game to this point came by Clair Middendorf in the 22nd minute, but the Cavs couldn’t capitalize on a few chances in the second half to increase their lead; something that they’ll need to do against Oregon Episcopal School and their #1 scoring defense (Four goals allowed in 14 games this year).
“I remember hearing the crowd cheering, I just couldn’t believe it, I just saw the shot and I was breathless,” said Middendorf on the goal. “We need to practice more because in this game, we didn’t have it because after I scored I think our head in the game went out and we just need to stay focused.”
Though Blanchet had their chances, the Mavs won the possession battling marginally, pressuring Elmore and the back-line constantly throughout the final 30 minutes of the game. But, playing in the toughest league in the State, it isn’t surprising that Riverdale brought the aggression against the Lady Cavs.
However, what is also not surprising as well is Elmore brought in six shutouts this season and not allow more than one goal since September 19 and showcased her talents once more with constant saves galore.
“It was intense, the adrenaline it was running through me, it was very intense,” said Elmore on making save-after-save-after-save. “Just having that feeling that the team is with me, like after each save. It really shows that we connected as one.”
Now, as the time drew down to eight seconds with the Mavericks lining up for their free kick attempt, those nerves were as high as the main character in a horror flick as the kick was sent into the Halloween afternoon air.
And as the ball came at her, the nerves mellow and like the main character walking out of the woods safe, so did Blanchet Catholic as Elmore made the save to seal the 1-nil win Tuesday afternoon on home turf.
“It was huge, I mean we won the game it was amazing,” smiled Elmore who too let off a laugh.
With the number-one team now in front of them, they past their first test and taking care of business in the first round to get to the quarterfinals; now it’s down to business in striking success offensively by staying focused as Middendorf mentioned while bringing it on defense.
“Just bringing it to them the whole game,” said Elmore. “We have to take it one game at a time, like each practice, know what we’re doing.”
Kick off is still to be determined but will be played at Oregon Episcopal School on Saturday.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald