By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Entering half-time against Astoria, Stayton had numerous opportunities to tear the game open with how many chances they were getting at goal Wednesday evening at home.
Call it nerves, call it the Fishermen’s pressure, call it whatever, shots weren’t finding the back of the net with the score knotted up at zero entering halftime.
“I think we were playing well, it’s just we couldn’t get…we couldn’t finish and that was going on which was frustrating but we kept having chances over and over,” said Croff. “We kind of controlled the game from the first half so I thought that was good but we couldn’t finish.”
Call it the ‘Shields Talk’ even during that halftime break that got them fired-up because once that whistle blew to start the second half, it was a Eagles squad that the packed home-crowd was waiting for.
Alex Cramer struck first in the 48th minute to break the scoreless gridlock that was followed by David Gomez’ 55th minute goal to make it 2-nil.
A scrambled goal by the net made it 3-0 as Croff made it 4-0 with 12:39 remaining in the ball game as the crowd steadily got louder and louder, chanting the Stayton Fight Song every time that they scored in support for their second-ranked Eagles team on this rather chilly Wednesday night.
“We were very unlucky in the first half, but we got a little mad. At halftime our coach told us, I don’t know how to explain it but we worked hard and we communicated and we didn’t give up,” said Gomez on finishing shot opportunities in the second half. “Pretty much teamwork and keeping ourselves focused.”
But, the final 15 or so minutes of the game, it seemed as if Stayton had some hiccups here and there with some guys rotating around the pitch along with some new faces, but they can chalk it up as a learning experience with a tough 10-3-2 Molalla team comes down Saturday for a 4pm kick.
“Just keeping our heads together, not making any mistakes but being relaxed,” said Gomez on the closing few minutes of the game. “Not to rushed anything, just make right plays, great passes. I think that’s pretty much it.”
It’ll be the second-time that the two squads will meet this season, the Eagles defeated the Indians 2-1 on September 7 at Molalla.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald