Castle Rock freshman Lori Ogden is not a goalkeeper. But it would have been hard to tell watching her in the Rockets’ 2-0 loss to La Center on Tuesday night.
After the Rockets’ starting goalkeeper suffered a concussion in last Thursday’s defeat to King’s Way Christian, coach Alyssa Hudson needed someone to fill the spot.
Ogden was more than willing to put on the goalie gloves, and she performed admirably in the defeat. She made 13 saves, including three hard liners and a few skippers on the slick grass. She intercepted dangerous crosses and looked more than capable as a varsity starter.
“She was fearless,” Hudson said. “I can’t say enough about how well she played. She’s tiny, but she’s mighty, that’s for sure.”
But the roster shuffle that ensued with Ogden stepping away from her normal defender role gave the Rockets troubles, as girls figured out new positions.
La Center’s Kaiya Villines lofted a shot just under the crossbar in the 22nd minute to put the Wildcats up 1-0, and even though Castle Rock settled in later in the second half, the Wildcats’ attack was relentless.
“My defense, communication-wise,” Hudson said of the positives from Tuesday’s defeat. “Before, we’ve struggled. They were talking tonight. Being able to clear a ball, back each other up, were huge takeaways tonight.”
Castle Rock’s best chance came when Myla Langdon ran deep down the sideline before delivering a great cross to Madeline DelCastillo, who got half a boot on it but couldn’t find netting.
The Wildcats launched a counterattack, as Villines slotted a pass to Katie Nelson, who pounded it home for the 2-0 scoreline.
“We’ve kind of been in a lull the last few games on offense,” Hudson said. “Just being able to connect the passes, and get some decent shots off. We just need to keep up a high energy; we’ve been playing slow.”
The Rockets fall to 2-2-1 in Trico 1A League play (6-4-1 overall), and face a “must-win” game against Stevenson on Thursday at home, Hudson explained. The top three teams qualify for the Southwest District Tournament, and the Rockets currently sit in the final advancing spot.
“We learned we definitely need to talk to each other more, pay attention to what’s going on,” junior Kiana Reagor said. “We have a lot to think about tomorrow, and come out hard Thursday.”
Castle Rock topped Stevenson 1-0 in the first meeting in the Gorge.