By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– If you couldn’t guess it was just your regular summer league boy’s soccer game, you would think Dayton was fighting for the next round of the playoffs versus Stayton.
The Pirates, who finished 5-5-4 in the 3A/2A/1A in 2017, flustered and challenged an Eagles team that was in the 4A State Title game this past year into beating them in different ways and not just on the scoreboard.
And when Jose Navarro hit the first goal of the game from distance and it bounced in, Dayton stepped up their game as they eventually tied it up on a penalty kick.
“Our opponents were taking it like they were in the State Playoffs, they were giving it their all to try to get back into the game after we scored the first goal and eventually got back into the game and they didn’t drop their mentality after that,” said Omar Renteria. “That’s what kind of scared me that they had momentum and they had that mentality. But luckily, we were able to keep pushing forward and we scored that second goal.”
Stayton eventually settled into the game in the second half, but had their chances to do further damage than the brace-feat that Navarro scored during the latter part of the game that included the game-winner with under a minute to go as the game with Dayton breathing down their necks in the close contest.
“Our issue was that we started off slow and they were able to compete with us for a while and until the last 20 minutes was when we started getting on them. We couldn’t finish the chances we had,” said Navarro. “This game was frustrating, these guys (Dayton), they came and played, and their mentality was in the game. None of them gave up.
“Every ball in the air, at least one guy was there if not two. These guys hustle and we did the same.”
And for a game like this to follow after their games last week, it’s a good eye-opener for them to improve not just for the Fall but for the rest of the summer as they look to use Thursday’s game as a stepping stone moving forward for the rest of the summer season entering the fall.
“It’s going to help us wake up and realize that we can’t take every game for granted,” said Renteria. “We were taking this one for granted, some of the players were joking around on the bench. We got our wake-up call and hopefully we’ll stay woken up through on into next season from this game. It’s a learning game.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald