SALEM, Ore.– Entering Tuesday’s game versus Amity, Blanchet Catholic were riding a five-game winning streak and averaged three-to-four goals a game during that span, and carried that momentum into the opening the contest with a aggressive offensive presence against Morgan Croxford and her defense.
With Brianna Anaya’s seventh minute goal the Lady Cavailers led the contest 1-nil and were looking to add more during the duration of the half.
“We’ve been improving a lot each game, getting better and better with our passes, our communication, it’s been going pretty well so far,” said Anaya about a Blanchet offense that has scored all but two of their 22 goals since league started on September 7.
But, Croxford constantly denied Blanchet’s offensive prowess to give her offense an opportunity to knot it up. Going off of that, Keeley Graham’s aggressiveness in the midfield to the Cavs backline gave the Lady Warriors opportunities to do so in goal shot chances.
“It was awesome, I was so happy the way we played, like we’ve been struggling kind of with our other keeper out so they put me back there so we’re kind of struggling up front trying to get everything back and connecting but I was really happy with how we played today,” said Croxford who had played goalie in 2016 and was a forward this year until starting goalkeeper Natalie Turnbull went out with a concussion.
“I think I did pretty good with the way I played today because we haven’t played as many teams that are skilled like Blanchet’s strikers, so I think I did pretty good today with the way I played.”
There were some frustrations from the Cavs end of things because it wasn’t the result they wanted, but it’s also a learning opportunity for them as well for the next time around.
“It’s a little disappointing but each time we learn something new from each mistake,” said Anaya. “So you try new things after each ball goes over the net.”
None would fall unfortunately as the game went to halftime 1-nil in favor of Blanchet Catholic as the Lady Cavailers continued their offensive aggression, but were again met by Croxford.
The Amity offense, mostly quiet for the second half, rallied to life in the final 10 minutes for two nice drives to the Blanchet net; but their best shot to tie was saved by Lauren Elmore with about eight minutes left in the game.
The Lady Warriors weren’t able to sink that tying goal to stun the Lady Cavailers, but Croxford stopped a Mariela Saldana shot that could’ve made it 2-nil in the wanning moments of the game.
But as time expired and Blanchet Catholic improves to 6-0 entering the second half of league with them traveling to Taft Thursday afternoon, just remembering what got them to this point is all they can do moving forward.
“Our coach gives us great motivational speeches before our games and that really pumps us up,” said Anaya. “Just our team communicating-wise is really good, we’re never done on each other and keeping a positive vibe in our field gets good passes, gets good goals, good communication.”
Amity however, with a performance like this against the sixth-ranked team in the State gives them all the confidence in the world to finish league and the regular season on a high note.
“I think if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing today I think we can finish phenomenal.”
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