The Lady Huskies began their week with a non-league match at home against Ellensburg Tuesday, Sept. 25, falling to the Bulldogs 1-0 in a physical and close game. Despite taking more shot attempts than Ellensburg did with 16 tries, the Bulldogs finished the one that counted in the 44th minute when Rachel Jeffries kicked the long ball just out of reach of Huskie goalkeeper Jennelle Garza. Head coach Bernie Garza said Ellensburg was a good team and was glad his defense played hard enough to limit them to only one goal rather than what happened last year when Ellensburg quickly ran the score up on their way to a 3-0 win. "We came up big on our defense," he said. "They're working together as a team. If the ball is on the right side, they're flying to the right side." Still, Garza said the majority of the blame for the loss is due to the team not taking advantage of scoring opportunities when they should have. Ellensburg only managed seven shots on goal and made one, while the Huskies tried more than twice as many times without scoring. "We couldn't finish our shots," he said. "If we would have finished those shots we took, it wouldn't have been a 1-0 game; it would have been 3-1." One bright spot in Othello's attack was how clean their set piece plays looked. On toss-ins especially, the team threatened multiple times and Garza said the girls are slowly building experience in this facet of the game and could be a useful weapon as they transition into league matches. "We had one direct kick that almost went and then we had several throw-in plays that were right in front of the goal," he said. "That's just lack of experience and the lack of knowing where to be ... You have to create your own luck." He hopes the team will soon consider corner kicks and other set plays like this to be an automatic reaction for the Huskies attackers and said drills on these plays would get more emphasis in practice. "We're going to have close games and if we have two or three corner kicks or set pieces with throw-ins, we have to score on those," he said. "I think we've got some weapons with the long throw-ins and the direct kicks. We just need to do our job better."
Huskies drop league opener at Prosser With starters Kirsten Quigley, Tori Cantu and Morgan Logan out for Othello's first league match, the Huskies struggled to find a winning strategy and fell 0-3 to the Prosser Mustangs Saturday, Sept. 28. Prosser took little time getting things going when Abi Stutzman took a shot that took a funny bounce off goalie J. Garza to roll in the goal to give the Mustangs the 1-0 lead. "Prosser was coming in with a 5-1 record ... and we were doing fine and then they took a shot in the 12th minute," coach Garza said. It was an own goal that pulled the rug out from underneath the Huskies and they couldn't seem to get the momentum to shift in their favor again. With the injury substitutions, the team couldn't put together a solid passing game in the midfield when they needed it most. The defense managed to hold up until late in the game when Garza told the team to be more aggressive in trying for a game-tying goal. Unfortunately for Othello, Prosser seized on this in the 70th minute off a corner kick that Rylee Suhadolnik finished to put them up 2-0. Prosser scored once more on a counter play with almost five minutes left to play and put it well out of reach for Othello. Despite what the scoreboard said, Garza felt that his team played very tough against some tough competition. "They're a good team and even with our three missing starters, we were right there," he said. He said the girls never gave up or threw in the towel and feels that shows the team is committed to finding success once again. The Huskies got their first chance of the week to redeem themselves when they played against Toppenish Tuesday, but results weren't available as of press time. Othello will hit the road this Saturday to take on East Valley for a match starting at noon.