The emotions of senior night didn’t seem to phase Ashland, and nothing could get in the way of the Grizzlies’ star senior Mya Elder Hammond.
Elder Hammond racked up four goals and three assists and fellow senior Liv West dished out four assists as Ashland scored six goals in the first half en route to a convincing 9-2 win in Midwestern League girls soccer action Tuesday at Walter A. Phillips field.
“The whole team played very offensive-minded,” Ashland coach Erik Wolff said. “My girls wanted to get the scoring going quickly.”
The victory moved Ashland (9-2-1, 5-1 MWL) into second place in the league standings with one game to go Saturday at third-place Marist (4-1 MWL). Crater (2-8, 0-5) saw its 5A play-in hopes take another hit, but the Comets’ fate will be determined by its final two league games against fifth-place Thurston and seventh-place Eagle Point, as the top six teams from the MWL advance to the play-in round.
The Comets scored in the seventh minute to tie the game at 1-all, but Ashland came right back with goals in the 10th and 15th minutes to regain control and was never threatened again.
Elder Hammond was the catalyst on virtually every Grizzly attack, and Wolff said her final stat line could have been even more impressive had she not opted to share the wealth.
“She’s an amazing distributer,” Wolff said of Elder Hammond. “And several times she could have scored herself and decided to lay it off for a teammate. She’s a very unselfish player and I really appreciate that about her. She’s always looking to see if she can set up a teammate for a goal.”
Barritt Reynolds, Ginny Cotton and Karis Lee also scored goals for Ashland, which has won six of its last seven games.
The contest was the last regular-season home game for 10 Ashland seniors, who were honored before the contest. Wolff said the senior-night ceremony, special as it may be, also has been known to distract players and lead to sluggish starts — a trend the Grizzlies were determined to avoid Tuesday.
“In the past we’ve had some bad experiences with that, but they did a good job,” Wolff said. “We talked before the game about not letting it become too much of a distraction, then they went out and took care of business.”
Ashland beat Crater 7-1 on Tuesday at Crater High School.
The win improved the Grizzlies to 9-1-2 overall and 5-1 in the Midwestern League. Statistics were not available at press time.