A hat trick from Henley forward Ryane Mattox Monday night at Mazama delivered the Hornets’ second Skyline Conference win of the season.
The sophomore’s triad was just three of No. 14 Henley girls soccer’s five first-half goals to power past the No. 17 Mazama Vikings 6-2.
“Ryane is our top threat and she’s always a threat to score when she gets it,” Henley head coach Michael Hedlund said. “She played great.”
The excitement began just over a minute into the cross-town rivalry matchup when Henley sophomore Madeline Lowry, off an assist from Mattox, gave the Hornets their first goal. Mazama responded with an offensive drive and their own shot on goal, but a Henley save kept the Vikings at bay.
In the sixth minute, Henley’s Mikell Lowry scored off a free-kick assist from senior Raigan Loney. Mattox found her first goal, the Hornet’s third, just over three minutes later: a high rainbow kick just out of reach of the Mazama goalie’s hands to give the Hornets a 3-0 lead in the first ten minutes.
“Finally, we broke out of our slump. We played well,” Hedlund said. “We got on them quick.”
The Vikings found the back of the net in the 14th minute off a direct kick straight into the top right corner by sophomore Kennedy Lease, but the Vikings comeback didn’t last long.
The Hornets responded less than a minute later as Loney capitalized on a corner kick to give Henley another three-goal lead.
In the 22nd minute, a Mazama indirect kick in the goal box seemed to be an easy goal.
With Mazama and Henley athletes lined up in goal, junior Macy Clemens took the indirect kick, but because of a misunderstanding there was no second touch and the goal did not count.
Clemens found a couple scoring opportunities late in the first-half but was unable to convert.
Meanwhile, Mattox scored her second goal of the night. Fighting for position in front of Mazama’s goal, the forward persisted until she found the back of the net to give the Hornets a 5-1 lead headed into halftime.
During the break, Mazama head coach Michael Imada was clearly frustrated with his team, the sound of his voice carrying across the pitch.
“It’s just one of those things where you just got to have a short-term memory,” Imada said. “When goals are scored, you just got to forget it.”
The Vikings woes endured into the first part of the second half as senior midfielder Cheyenne Miller was awarded a yellow card.
Four minutes later, Mattox secured her three-point show out for the Hornets only second-half goal.
Mazama managed to rein in Henley’s offense and stepped it up for a total of seven attempted shots, one of which the Vikings converted on.
“Unfortunately, this game is a tale of two halves,” Imada said. “That’s just the way the game works sometimes.”
Clemens redeemed her first-half indirect kick mishap late in the game off a deep shot.
The junior said she thinks her team improved as the game went on despite their slow start.
“We didn’t do as bad in the second half as we did in the first half,” she said. “We didn’t let as many goals get scored, so I think if we just stay strong through both halves, we’ll have a better chance.”
But the hole the Vikings dug in the first 40 minutes proved too big to surmount, and they lost 6-2.
Hedlund also received a yellow card in the second half when a direct kick from Mattox went into the goal but the point wasn’t awarded.
Both teams will stay home Thursday as the Hornets host North Valley and Mazama hosts another cross-town rival, the Klamath Union Pelicans, to play at 4:30 p.m.
For the Hornets, senior captain Tanikwah Lang had a warning for their late-season opponents: “Watch out,” she said, smiling. “Look out for us. We’re coming.”
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