OES 2, Seaside 0BEAVERTON - The Seaside girls soccer team faced one of their toughest opponents of the year - other than Catlin Gabel of course - in a contest against Oregon Episcopal in a District 1 matchup Wednesday and coach Dave Rouse's squad felt confident prior to the game about their chance of getting a victory.

The Seagulls played well enough to win, and with an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Julie Nelson (13 saves) and defenders Melissa Owens, Martha Francis, Kate Ayers and Brittany Rekate, Seaside stayed within striking distance of the tough Aardvarks, while trailing just 1-0 at halftime.

Seaside appeared to be out of sync in the first half, as they controlled the ball offensively for just 13 of the first 40 minutes and OES outshot them 12-5.

Despite a much-improved performance in the second half, when the Seagulls fell behind by two goals after OES scored in the 56th minute, it really had a demoralizing effect and Seaside (5-4-2) was unable to come back and lost 2-0 to the Aardvarks (9-1), a class 2A private school in Beaverton.

OES was without their leading scorer, Katelyn Brack, who was injured, but Seaside had injury problems too, as Amber Lucas and Elizabeth Delong were both unable to play. Francis and Melissa Owens were playing for the first time in a couple of weeks after recovering from recent injuries. Nevertheless, Seagull forwards Micah Cerelli, Lauren Yokum and Hazel Owens each had significant scoring opportunities, but they just were unable to capitalize on them.

Cerelli nearly tied it 10 minutes into the second half when she drilled a shot towards the OES goal, but the Aardvark keeper made a diving save. Six minutes later, OES went ahead 2-0 on a goal by freshman Jessica Tsao and the momentum was clearly in favor of OES. It was the turning point of the game and Seaside was simply unable to recover.

It was an evenly played second half, though, with both teams getting eight shots on goal and nearly equal time of possession.

"I knew that it would be a tough game, but I thought we would have a good chance to win, and if we played as well in the first half as we did in the second half, then we probably could've won," Cerelli said. "It was really a good game between two evenly matched squads and I was hoping to get a goal and help our team win, but their keeper played a great game and OES is one of the best teams we'll play this season."

Rouse said, "We played poorly in the first half, but we made some adjustments at halftime and the girls came out and played with much more intensity and had a better performance in the second half. OES is very good, they move the ball well and they prevented us from sustaining a good offensive attack. We had many good scoring opportunities, but we just couldn't put the ball into the net and some defensive mistakes late in the game really hurt us too."

Seaside will return to the field when is hosts Scappoose in a 5 p.m. contest Oct. 14.

Astoria's home match with Corbett was postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

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