By Jeremy McDonald
PORTLAND, Ore.– The Wilson Lady Trojans have already showed once this season the results of their aggressive playing style with a five-goal performance against Centennial to close out the month of August.
And Monday evening at home, they showed case that aggressive offense against the Olympians of Sprague. That was, until they ran into Aly Smith and her defensive back-line met them at the goalie box and continuously denying Wilson the opportunity to net a goal or two entering late in the second half.
“I think as a defense we did a good job, we talked really well, which is good. Everyone works together, we did a lot of passing, a lot of through balls that made us a good team,” said Smith on the defense. “I think a strong team starts with a defense, which is really good, you have a good structure to build off of, so I think our team did a good job working together.”
The offense, they had their opportunities to take a chance to do some damage themselves, but couldn’t connect against the defense of the Trojans, who too had defended well against the Lady Olys offense starting with their midfielders on back as the score remained zero-all entering the final 20 minutes in this defensive slugfest.
Outside of that about halfway through the second half, about minutes apart, more adversity was thrown Sprague’s way.
Senior forward Natila Rodriquez and freshman forward Jolie Jones, minutes apart from each other and who had been big parts of a keeping the game at 0-all and helped trying to break the then shutout, went down with injuries and forcing a young Sprague team to fill their shoes in a tight-knit game.
But, besides a crazy, hard fought play by both plays resulting in a Wilson goal with eight minutes to play that ended up being the game-winner in the 1-nil contest; the Olympians with six freshman and a sophomore on their roster answered the bell the last 20 minutes without Rodriquez and Jones.
Smith pointed towards how everyone stepped up to fill the holes left by the Captain in Rodriquez and a strong player in Jones.
“I think it’s great how they stepped up, we have a lot of freshman on the team and they really proved themselves and played more and more and they stepped up,” said Smith. “They’re really strong players. Age doesn’t matter, it’s how you play that matters. And for when we lose players, it really shines more and more, it shows the fight in them.”
Freshman Aspen DeConcini and sophomore Madison Swanson both had great runs on the offensive end during the final 20 minutes following the injuries with Sprague matching the Trojans intensity.
And as the preseason ends Thursday at Newberg, the Lady Olys (0-2-1) know they have the tools to be successful come North Salem next Tuesday when Greater Valley Conference-play starts, it’s just a matter of piecing it together.
“Today, we had a lot of (offensive) options, unfortunately we couldn’t get a finish on it, so I think next game we can focus on follow-through, a lot of through-balls and offense on-top,” said Smith. “And again, that starts with the defense. Counter attacks and planning the defense in the middle and then you go in and you score.
“So I think next game, we’ll focus on getting the ball up there and yet again, it starts with good passes and good touches and I think we have that so I think next game is ours.”
Kick-off is at 7pm at Newberg High School Thursday evening.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald