WARRENTON — A battle between Banks and Scappoose for the Cowapa League girls soccer title? Don’t count on it.

Area coaches may have sold themselves short when predicting who the league favorites are this year. Because if you go by recent preseason scores, it’s definitely looking like a Clatsop Clash Showdown for the Cowapa crown.

From Seaside’s 1-1 tie against two-time defending state champion Gladstone earlier this week, to several strong showings by Astoria, the Gulls and Lady Fish are on a collision course for the title.

Seaside scored another win, while Astoria went toe-to-toe with La Salle for 58 minutes Thursday before the Falcons scored three goals in the final 22 minutes for a 3-0 win at Volunteer Field.

“I have so many positives to take from this,” said Astoria coach Jerry Boisvert, following his team’s first loss of the year, after wins over Catlin Gabel and Cascade.

By comparison, La Salle was coming off a 5-1 win over defending Cowapa League champion Scappoose Tuesday. Gladstone knocked off Scappoose Thursday, 2-0.

“La Salle’s coach (Ryan Cereghino) told us after tonight’s game that we gave them a much tougher game than Scappoose did,” Boisvert said. “La Salle is obviously a better team than we are, but I was really pleased with our effort.

“We’re working hard, and this is the most physically fit team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” he said.

That resulted in a 0-0 standoff in the first half of Thursday’s game, despite the Falcons dominating the time of possession.

“I think (the Falcons) were getting a little frustrated at not getting many opportunities (offensively),” Boisvert said. “We brought Emma (Englund) and Taylor (Mickle) back, and that seemed to work out well.”

La Salle “just had more depth than we did,” he said of the Falcons, a state quarterfinalist in 2012 and always a power in the Tri-Valley Conference.

And that may have been how the Falcons finally wore down the Astoria defense, as La Salle had numerous shots goal in the second half, and finished with nine corner kicks, to none for the Fishermen.

Astoria also had no shots on goal in the second half, and had very few offensive attacks in the first half.

La Salle’s first goal came 18 minutes into the second half, as junior Claire Primack scored from close range when Astoria keeper Katie Russell had come out to challenge.

That was followed by more close-range shots on goal from Courtney Crain, Primack and Bailey Higgins, whose shot missed by inches over the crossbar.

Russell made saves on attempts by Higgins and M’Kaila Karcsay, but Karcsay scored with 8:33 remaining, when a shot by Primack deflected off an Astoria defender in front of the net.

Freshman Keegan Storlie capped La Salle’s scoring with a 10-yard shot with 1:12 left.

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