By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Down 2-0 entering the 10th minute due to fastbreak shots down field, the McKay Lady Scots could’ve rolled over and called it a day.
But they didn’t.
They knew they could drive on Woodburn offensively and their defense was sound outside of those two plays resulted in goals.
Slowly, the Scots crawled back into the game.
Cecilia Munoz cut the Bulldog lead in half with her 20th minute goal, a strong defensive effort allowed Jackie Macia’s goal with 31 minutes remaining to be the great equalizer to knot the game up at two-apiece.
Both teams battled aggressively, having drives at goals to the goal only met by the other team’s defense and goalies.
Speaking of goalies, McKay’s Zendy Garibay was making incredible save after incredible save to give her offense an opportunity to take the lead as time continued to approach zero.
It was like a league game, playoffs perhaps in environment-feel. Both teams can’t settle with a ‘T’ next to the other on the schedule.
“It was a good feeling because we’re not going to give up that easily,” said Munoz. “And in the future that’ll help us more.
“We’re pretty aggressive and we’re tough and I know we’re better and we’ll come back better next time.”
Woodburn continued to send the ball down the pitch and Garibay continued to dominate, but a fatal flaw would occur in the final ten minutes that would be proven costly to the Scots.
As Garibay was saving a shot, the ball bounced out to the field only to be bounced out to the homestands side of the field, the backside of the play.
The ‘Dogs Gadibel Jaquez picked up the ball and drove to the goal as Garibay was trying to get back to Jaquez only to see Jaquez hit on her shot for the goal with 9:32 left in the ballgame.
Down, but not out, the girls of McKay battled.
They found opportunities, they had one-on-one opportunities versus the Bulldogs goalie, they drove on the Woodburn defense like they did all game long; unfortunately they couldn’t find the net to knot the score before the buzzer went off in favor of the Bulldogs 3-2.
“It always hurt because of course I know there full potential, I’ve seen them at practice every single day, I’ve seen them in every game, I’ve seen them play for their club team,” said Arturo Alfaro. “I know what they’re capable of and it works sometimes but it is what it is in the soccer world.
“I mean, as long as they go 100 percent on the field I told them it’s a win for them so it’s a win.”
As tough as it was for the girls, they know they got the confidence of their coach as they finish out the preseason in Dallas at 3pm against the Dragons and Alfaro knows he his team can compete in the Greater Valley Conference come next week.
“Just reviewing all the game, looking at tactics, looking at how many shots on goal, what we need to look at. Are we letting a lot of corners, we are letting…I have all the written down so at the end of the preseason we’ll look at all those stats and we’ll work on that as a team.
“But I feel like they’re a strong team and I feel like we’ll be very competitive in the Greater Valley Conference.”
But first is Dallas on Saturday as they look to continue this positive trend for West Albany and the GVC on September 27.
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Photos by Jeremy McDonald