Megan O'Meara, Astoria soccer

Megan O’Meara and the Astoria Lady Fishermen controlled most of the action and had more shots on goal, but Banks left CMH Field with a 2-1 win Tuesday night.

The Banks Braves had just four shots on goal in Tuesday night’s Cowapa League girls soccer match at Astoria.

But all it took was a couple of perfectly placed shots at the Fishermen net, and the Braves left CMH Field with a 2-1 win over Astoria.

The crucial early game in the league standings gives Banks a 2-0 league record atop the Cowapa, while the Lady Fish fall to 0-1-1 in league, tied for third with Seaside, behind Valley Catholic (1-0).

An evenly played first half saw both teams manufacture a few well set-up shots on goal.

In the 15th minute, the Braves’ Tyler Rose sent a short pass to teammate Kate Hailey, whose shot at the net was stopped by Astoria goalkeeper Baylee McSwain, back in the starting lineup after a recent injury.

With 12:40 remaining in the first half, Astoria sophomore Vanessa Velazquez sent a perfectly placed through-ball to Elle Espelien, on the run and out in front of the Braves’ defense. But Espelien’s low line drive shot was deflected by a diving Lillie Breadon, the Banks’ keeper.

The first score of the night came off the foot of Banks junior Madeline Jacobs. On a free kick from 31 yards out, Jacobs launched a ball over everybody — including the outstretched arms of McSwain into the upper part of the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Fish came out charged up to start the second half, working the ball around the Banks defense for the first six minutes.

And in the 47th minute (7:56 into the second half), Astoria drew a foul in the penalty area following a corner kick.

Hayley Kelley took the shot, and placed the ball into lower left of the net to tie the contest at 1-1.

The Fishermen held onto the ball and the momentum, holding the advantage in possession time and shots for most of the next 20 minutes.

A shot on goal by Velazquez was stopped by freshman Natalie Eastman (the Banks keeper in the second half), and Megan O’Meara nearly scored moments later on a shot attempt from 30 yards out, also stopped by Eastman.

With 7:48 left in the game, the Braves had their only shot on goal of the second half, an attempt from 25 yards away at the left post, a left-footed shot by sophomore Skyla Zechmann that again got past a diving McSwain for the Braves’ second goal.

The Fishermen went into their late-game offense, and managed one more shot on goal, an attempt by O’Meara that was gathered in by Eastman.

Time expired as Astoria was lining up for its sixth corner kick opportunity of the second half.

Now 2-3-3 overall, the Lady Fish hope to rebound Thursday at Tillamook, the first of four straight road games for Astoria.

In other league action, Valley Catholic opened league play Tuesday night, and opened it in nice style with a 4-0 win over Seaside at Broadway Field.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.

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