INDEPENDENCE -- Central's girls soccer team seemed poised to claim its first victory of the season before visiting Elmira scored in the game's 52nd minute and held on for a 2-1 decision.
"That was a tough loss," Central coach Joe Penna said. "We finally broke the ice with a goal. We scored with two minutes of their first goal. We responded well, but that's a match we should have won. It got away from us."
The game was moved up an hour and started at 3:30 p.m., a change that did nothing to help the Lady Panthers.
"I think the heat hurt our performance some," Penna said. "I don't think we were match-ready for the conditions. We were drained by the heat. It's not an excuse, but Elmira responded much better than we did.
"Their work rate was more consistent than ours. I think they, unfortunately, wanted it more than we did."
Elmira scored in the game's 12 minute. Central came right back with its first goal of the season when Kasaundra Ramirez scored off a pass from Alex Salinas.
Right wing Rachel Penna had her best game of the season for Central.
The Lady Panthers close out the first half of the season with games against Marist and Santiam Christian.
"Marist probably is our toughest opponent," Penna said. "I know Santiam Christian is a little beat up. They have some players who are injured. They're having a tough go for a young program."