Mazama girls soccer led for seven-and-a-half minutes against their out-of-town opponents, the Madras White Buffaloes, but ultimately fell 3-1.
A four-foot goal from junior captain Macy Clemens five minutes into the game gave the Vikings the advantage.
That is, until Madras’ Jiana Smith-Francis headed the ball into the goal off a corner kick for an equalizer. The Vikings were unable to score again, and behind two more goals from Madras in the second half, lost at home in their final preseason game.
“We played our hearts out, but we let Madras get to our head,” Mazama senior captain Cheyenne Miller said. “I think we let their first goal get to our heads real hard and then we just let down, and broke down as a team.”
She said her team stopped communicating and couldn’t move the ball up the field like it needed to.
With five minutes left in the first half, Clemens had another opportunity to score, this time off a direct kick, but the shot went wide.
That’s how the rest of the game unfolded for the Vikings. Their shots were wide, high or saved by the Madras goalie.
“We had our moments and we just didn’t take our chances,” Mazama first-year head coach Michael Imada said. “That’s just the game sometimes. That’s what happens.”
Mazama shot 16 times, seven of those on goal, but thanks to an impressive performance from the Madras goalkeeper, the Vikings only managed the one goal.
Mazama also couldn’t capitalize on offensive opportunities.
“We stopped talking and we needed to possess the ball more and make sure we got it up the field and made a goal,” Miller said.
On defense, the Vikings held the White Buffaloes to just six attempted shots, but Madras made good on its attempts, making 50 percent of those shots.
With 24 minutes remaining, Madras senior Briseida Carlon, who assisted on the White Buffaloes first goal, scored Madras’ second goal to give them a 2-1 lead. 10 minutes later Carlon assisted the White Buffaloes third goal, shot by Emily King.
“It just wasn’t our day today. That’s just really how I felt,” Imada said. “We’ve just got to take what we learn from a loss and just try to improve on it for the next game.”
Mazama, now 1-2 overall, opens Skyline Conference play next Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Henley. After a loss at St. Mary’s Thursday, Henley enters the league season with a 1-2-1 record.
Miller said the Vikings will need to focus on communication and conditioning as they prepare for their first league match of the season.