By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.—Both teams were evenly matched in every facet of the game from goalies making play to matching each others intensity as the game seemed to be heading to a zero-all tie entering the midway break with halftime.
That was, until Isabel Leos broke the scoreless game with a 36th minute goal to give Silverton a 1-0 lead, a play that was set up by Katie Moore that led to the go-ahead goal.
“That goal was super crucial, I think it really got us pumped up to start playing; 0-0 you’re not really feeling it yet maybe for some of us, but I think once we got that goal we got this burst of energy and high intensity throughout the rest of the half,” said Leos on the importance of the goal.
In the back-line surrounding sophomore Mia Geroge were Freshman Truitt Rielly and Sophomore Ellie Schmitz, both along with George help keep the Lancers off the board for the first half and entering the second half with momentum building.
Speaking of George, the sophomore made a crucial save minutes later with Churchill charging as they had throughout all of the first half to held preserve the 1-0 lead in favor of the home team with 40 minutes left to play in the contest.
“It has a lot of pressure on you, your very nervous”, said George who continued that play into the second half. “But you have to pull through and you got to show your teammates that your ready for it and, not be the leader per se, but you can help and push through.”
Both George and Leos agreed that the save George had with roughly ninty seconds left in the half, had it gone it, we’re talking different mindsets entering halftime and the second half.
But, as they came out for the second half that supercharged offensive play stemming from Leos goal continued and it grew even more once Maggie Roth made it 2-0 with a 44th minute penalty kick as it seemed the Lady Foxes were in full control if the game.
Roth and Monica Guerrero had changes to extend the lead, but missed the mark barely with the game remaining 2-nil in the 55th minute with the Lancers picking back up the intensity and putting the pressure on the Silverton defense and on George.
The mentality was to play like it’s 0-0 as they remember how Churchill charged back late in last year’s season opener before the Foxes sneaked out for the 4-3 win on September 1, 2016.
“We just want to keep playing like it’s 0-0, you don’t let that cushion get to you, you just want to keep playing,” said George on treating the second half like it’s the beginning of the first half.
With that in mind, George made some more important saves and handed the reigns over to Olivia Meyer in goal, continuing where George left off for the last 20 minutes of the game.
Meyer had two of her cruical saves in the 73rd minute off a Lancer corner, then and drive and another nice one in the 78th minute to the shutout in tack.
But, after that 78th minute save, the Lancers picked up their lone goal of the game in the 2-1 win in favor of the Lady Foxes as they now prepare for that one team:
La Salle Prep.
Leos, who was playing in the State Championship game against the Lady Falcons, hated to admit that they won the ‘Ship and is looking forward to the revenge match at their place on Tuesday.
“Just beat them,” smiled and laughed Leos. “Even though we lost a lot of seniors, we’re still a highly-competitive team.”
And La Salle is just one of two team’s that this highly-competitive team will face this week. The other will be West Salem at their place on the black turf, and it’s just a matter of carrying this momentum over to that game while working on the little things to improve for the Falcons and the Lady Titans Tuesday and next Thursday.
Though they know the challenges ahead, their focus is on La Salle Prep right now before they’ll worry about West Salem.
“Just knowing that even if we’re tired, we still can play with those teams, that State Champions and the 6As,” starts Leos.
“As a new player, all of the upperclassmen we’re so welcoming,” started and added George. “I’ve watched, a lot of people watched that final game and to see us go out in PKs, it was disappointing; but you could see people come so much more closer together and it’s fun to be apart of that and a season like that.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald