By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– The best way to describe the second half of McNary-West Salem Boys Soccer was near-rivarly like with the Titans up 1-0.
“There like our Mid-Town rivals, there was a lot of energy,” said the Titans Connor Young. “It’s just a tough game and they came out on top, we didn’t play how we needed.”
The Celtics, looking for a spark, found that with Francisco ‘Ivan’ Rios and Jack Baez on the offensive front looking for that tying blow on Carlos Gonzales and his defense.
None would fall with Benjamin Clark putting West Salem up 2-nil in the early going of the second half, but McNary kept coming at them.
“It was an intense game, we did what we could,” West Salem’s Gonzales on facing the intensity of the McNary Celtic offense and how they as defense tried to counter them. “I mean, they came out hard and they did what they had to do and we couldn’t finish and that’s just the game.”
The Celts pay-off was yet to come.
Rios’ two-goals were called back due to penalties before Baez’ eventual goal cut the deficit in half that put that figurative gas on the figurative flame that was that aggressiveness and passion from both teams.
For the Titans, it was to ice the game behind the charging front led by Young; for McNary, it was to force a tie and change the narrative of the contest at hand.
“It was a thriller, both team’s were in it the whole second half,” said the Celtics goalkeeper Sebastian Lopez on the second half. “I feel like we came out tough in the second half, that’s how we got the two-goals, we just had more intensity and wanted it more.”
Then, the golden moment occurred when Jovanie Bravo knotted up the game up at two-apiece with a few minutes left to play in the ballgame.
But both team’s hard-fight to break the now 2-all game couldn’t break it as both team’s start Greater Valley Conference play 0-0-1.
Frustrations were there of course, but with the Celts were satisfied with the tie instead of the loss Tuesday night with once heavy rain tapering off at McNary High School.
“It was difficult because it took two goals because it was outside, and it was too pressure at the end but we got the tie and that’s better than the loss so it’s the beginning of the season, we still have far to go,” said Rios on the game as the Celts are off to Forest Grove Thursday night on the road.
West Salem, who have gone 0-2-1 since their opening season 2-1 win over Cleveland to start the season, they’ll use practice Wednesday to flush out the tough tie in preparations for North Salem at West Salem Thursday night.
“We’re just going into practice tomorrow and just clear our heads and just prepare for the next game,” said Young. “That’s all we can do, it’s not the result we wanted.”
BOYS SOCCER: North Salem 3, Sprague 2. South Salem 1, Forest Grove 1. McMinnville 10, West Albany 0. Lakeridge 5, McKay 0.
GIRLS SOCCER: Sprague 5, North Salem 1. Woodburn 4, McKay 1. West Salem 1, McNary 1. West Albany 3, McMinnville 0.