Bulletin Staff Report

After reaching the second round of the girls soccer state playoffs last fall in their first year in Class 6A, the Bend Lava Bears are looking for even bigger things this season.

They are off to a nice start, now 2-0 following a 4-3 win over Wilsonville on Tuesday at their home 15th Street Field.

“I think we’re poised pretty well,” said Bend coach Gavin Meyers. “We have a lot of veterans back.”

The Bears never trailed in Tuesday’s nonconference victory, taking the lead early when Peyton Gardner scored in the third minute off an assist from Grace Toney. Then Toney scored with an assist from Ashley Hillman in the 25th minute for a 2-0 lead, and Bend appeared to be in control.

The Bears led 3-1 at halftime after Liliauna Lucas scored in the 31st minute, assisted by Gardner. But the Wildcats, a 5A playoff team last season and playing their 2019 opener, surged back behind Lindsey Atonson, whose third goal of the match tied the score at 3-3 in the 61st minute.

“The girls never got their heads down, though,” said Meyers. “They kept playing their game.”

And in the next minute, Gardner took a feed from Hillman, pounded a shot off the Wilsonville goalkeeper’s hands and followed with the rebound shot for what proved to be the decisive goal.

Meyers praised the defensive efforts of center-mid Jordan Stoner and senior keeper Jenna Cornett, who was credited with four saves.

The Bears close out the week with their first road contest of the season Friday at Sherwood.