By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.—Early on in the Stayton Eagles and Cascade Cougars Girls Soccer game, it seemed as if the young Cougars will have their way with the young Eagle defense when they took 2-nil lead early in the game.
But as been the theme for Stayton, they settled in following Emma Woods goal that put them down 2-0 as they shutdown the Cascade pressuring offense for the remainder of the first half.
“It’s real exciting,” said Woods on those two quick goals. “Last time we played them, we came out a little flatter and this time I think we came more prepared with more of a plan and we just got after it from the beginning; and then we got some confidence with those two goals fast.”
The Eagles continued their defensive stranglehold on the Cougar offense, meeting them at the point of contact as they built that confidence out to the offensive front in the second half.
It was remesistent for Stayton from their Newport game as they saw Izaland Samuell have a shot and PK shot at goal early in the second to try to break the shutout.
But the shot would barely miss and the Stayton crowd groan and Cascade crowd blew a sign of relief when her shot ricochet off the top bar as the Cougar’s 2-0 lead remain intact.
Cascade turned that missed opportunity into a quick break down the field as Nyah Collins had a chance to increase Cascades lead only to have Stayton’s Silvia Gomez save it.
Gomez made several crucial saves for the Eagles to slow the Cougars offense in the second half as she described the second half stone-wall as them fixing their mistakes.
“I think we were just able to fix some of the mistakes we made, we were able to keep up the game and push and commit and took advantage of it,” said Gomez.
Olivia Casarez described this mindset in the second half as more than them improve, they wanted to compete with their rivals.
“I thought we did really good, we usually play a lot better with Cascade anyway cause their our rival,” she said. “We’re a lot more aggressive and amp’d up for it.”
On the Cascade side, Woods describe the frustrations of driving down the field only to be stopped as it adding more fuel to their fire as a offense.
“I just take it to fuel my fire and wanting it even more and go harder,” said Woods. “I tend to get more physical. It just makes me want to play faster and push harder and put more shots off and I think a lot of the other girls feel that way too.”
That fuel exploded when Faith Craig stopped a Stayton corner kick opportunity and saw it turn into an Alishae Grizzell score moments later.
Karen Miller saved a Eagle shot following the goal as Stayton didn’t allow the second half goal by Grizzell affect them as it against Philomath a few days ago.
“Today was such a large improvement from the game at Philomath with the consistency of the level of intensity they played at,” said Stayton Head Coach Lael Anderson. “Often times I talked about all of how the score doesn’t reflect the intensity of the game and the girls as a team, but today, as a coach I was super proud of how they maintained the focus to get in the front third and create opportunities.
“The opportunities were there and we will continue to grow as a team to be able to finish the opportunities.”
The Cougars Head Coach Skip Collins can see the similarities between his team and the Eagles, but also too was happy with how his backline competed against Stayton’s second half push.
“Stayton played a really good game and they didn’t give up,” said Collins. “We don’t ever expect Stayton to give up. The nice thing about our girls is we’re the same, we don’t give up. I have a really strong backline in Elisa Knoff, Halle Wright and also too Kelsey Mullin; they’re just wonderful.”
UP NEXT- Stayton- vs Yamhill-Carlton (10/18) 6p Cascade- @ Newport (10/18) 6p
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