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Baker’s magic number is down to one.
Ashley Vela and her Baker teammates remained undefeated Saturday with a 7-1 victory at Umatilla. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
One Baker win, or one Ontario loss, will secure Baker’s second straight Special District 7 girls soccer championship.
And, coincidentally, Baker could accomplish that goal Thursday at the Baker Sports Complex when the Bulldogs host Ontario at 2 p.m.
Baker improved its league record to 7-0 and is 10-0-1 overall after stopping Umatilla 7-1 Saturday at Umatilla. That win clinched a state playoff berth for the Bulldogs with three league matches remaining.
Saturday’s match was not as easy as it might have been against the last-place Vikings.
“We came out not real driven,” said Baker coach DeeDee Clarke.
In fact the match was scoreless for the first 20 minutes. Then Dallas Defrees scored the first of her four goals on the afternoon. On the play Defrees dribbled the ball toward the keeper. The keeper came out of the net to attempt to cut Defrees off, and Defrees tapped the ball by her.
Defrees, who also scored four goals in Baker’s game against Mac-Hi earlier in the week, added her second goal against the Vikings after receiving a pass from Shasta Overton.
Umatilla then cut Baker’s lead to 2-1 on a fluke goal off a corner kick.
“The ball just bounced off one of their player’s heads,” Clarke said. “It was more of an accident than a real shot.”
Baker led just 2-1 at halftime.
“The girls were kind of taken aback at halftime,” Clarke said. “Then in the second half we corrected some things.”
Baker tallied five goals in rapid fashion.
Twelve minutes after halftime Robbie Langrell drilled home a goal after Overton passed her the ball.
Five minutes later Defrees scored on a penalty kick after being taken down in the box. Another five minutes then elapsed before Langrell made a crossing pass that Kim Countryman tapped in for a 5-1 Baker cushion.
A couple minutes later Defrees picked up her fourth goal after dribbling her way through the Umatilla defenders.
Overton then completed the scoring after receiving a pass from Defrees.
“The girls really stepped it up in the second half. They had a nice variety of shots,” Clarke said.
“The girls came back in the second half. Umatilla’s field is smaller than we’re used to playing on and took the girls a while to get adjusted to it.”
Baker keeper Kristen Hoopes only had to handle the ball five times on the afternoon.
Baker also won the junior varsity match 2-0. After a scoreless first half Aubree Shepard and Marly Robb scored in the second half for the Bulldogs.