BEAVERTON, Ore.–Sean Webster has been pretty dominant to start the season for Western Mennonite by only allowing one goal in two games this season.
And so, the start of the game versus Westside Christian and their aggressive offense, his three early saves off the bat as Westside Christian were no surprise as Luke Williams put the Pioneers up one entering the 20 minute water break.
Those next 20 minutes however coming out of the water break tested Western Mennonite on both sides of the ball as a once 1-nil lead turned into a 3-2 deficit by the halftime break.
It was adversity. A early season test for the Pioneers as they eventually tied an regained the lead by the 55th minute off a Williams goal to make it 4-3 in the non-league match-up.
Webster pointed to some lulls with the team, possibly stemming from it’s not a ‘league’-game like it’s been with Salem Academy a few days ago, but they slowly found a rthytm there in the second half Monday afternoon.
“We came out a little bit flat and that kind of killed us during the middle part of the second half. It’s one thing when we’re playing league, but when it’s non-league everyone’s just doesn’t have the same energy,” said Webster. “I thought in the second half we came out a lot better with better energy, better focus, better communication.”
“I thought we did good the first half we definitely came out a little flat and it kind of cost us with communication, but I thought we started it pick it up in the second half, we started to communicate more and won the 50/50s. I think that’s what got us the ball back to get our shots up,” added Williams.
Communication was indeed an important component in the comeback in the game during the second half starting with Webster making several crucial saves and telling his defenders where to go, and it slowly worked it’s way up to the front line in term’s of offensive efficiency during the last 40 minutes of the game.
“One big thing is definitely confidence, I think the first half we were a little timid, they look like a tall team, a big team,” said Webster. “Second half we started to get the feel and we got the momentum and we carried it on for the rest of the game.”
Westside kept pushing to the final second, looking to tie or a win, against Webster, Williams and company Monday afternoon.
But, with a minute or two left in the game, Joesph Juanez ices the win with a long-distance rainbow shot for the fifth-Western Mennonite goal as Webester got his 11th save of the game as time expired moments later.
With league starting back up Wednesday with Blanchet Catholic at 4:15pm, they are currently four team’s undefeated in the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 conference including themselves, Gervais (2-0), Delphian (3-0) and Taft (3-0) who are looking to continue their run entering the bulk of the season.
The learning lesson from Monday’s game is to come out crisper from the moment they get off the bus and not waiting until they get a few minutes into the contest.
“I think it starts in the warm-up, espically the bus ride,” “We just need to get fired up before and mentally be prepared. We didn’t come out strong, I knew the moment when we got off the bus, I wasn’t ready and a few of the other guys didn’t look ready and we didn’t show that in the pre-game either.
“But I think if we have a strong pre-game, it should just carry on into the game.”