By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– When Savannah Reilly hit her Penalty Kick to break the 0-0 game in the 43rd minute, the Silverton Lady Foxes seemingly seemed to let out a sigh of relief as the Stayton Lady Eagles brought some pressure following the goal.
Mia George and her defense met the challenged by the Stayton offense, remembering what their first meeting of the summer season a few weeks prior.
“It was super nice to get that goal right there, especially with it being a PK, it calmed everyone down and it made them more stress and us a lot more calmer. In the first half, everyone was freaking out. We were trying to win, I mean it was such a big deal,” starts Geroge. “We could’ve came in a lot worse because earlier in the season they beat us, like really beat us and we could have gone in there like, ‘oh they’re going to beat us again, this is worthless’.
“But we came in strong, we were still anxious, but we went in strong and we could have backed down easy. But with that goal, it just helped everyone just take a nice step down and calm everyone out.”
With the Lady Eagles, who didn’t lose anyone from last season’s 4A First-Round Appearance and 7-7-1 season and now a heavy senior-class with girls like Slivia Gomez, Valeria Navarro and Izaland Samuell, getting to this point in the summer in the Summer League Championship game getting ready for another push for their third playoff appearance as a class was great.
“I’m actually really proud with how we’ve come, I feel like we can get far in season this year. We have a large Senior Class, so this is like our last chance,” smiled and laugh Samuell. “It feels good actually, this is like the furthest we’ve gotten in like 10 years was last year and I feel like we can actually make a name for ourselves this season so I’m proud of us.”
George and the stifling defense continued to shut down KJ Nyquist and Samuell’s pressure set up from their mid-fielders like the Plata twins of MacKenzie and Kaylee to eventually set up the Silverton chances on the offensive side with 21 minutes to go when Reilly had another PK opportunity.
That opportunity was off the mark as the Eagles dodged the figurative bullet still down 1-0 on the scoreboard.
But a few moments later, incoming senior Skylar Johnston sent a crazed ball at Gomez that got past the incoming Stayton Senior to make it a 2-nil ball-game with neither team scoring in the final 21:17 of the contest to mark the Lady Foxes fourth Summer championship on home turf as the bonds on the team improved entering the training season next month.
“I think it’s nice, it gives everyone a boost for the preseason that’s going to start soon and the actually season that starts around like October I think. So it’s going to be nice to have everyone close and strong,” said George. “I think this was a really good game and it showed us a lot of our strengths, so I think we need to work on a lot of passing. A lot calming, nice and calm and not freaking out when the ball comes to us.
“Looking ahead and a lot of communicating, we need to say, ‘oh there’s a man-on. There’s someone behind you’ and we need to talking about stuff like that.”
Samuell too touched base on communicating for them on the Lady Eagles sideline as they enter Fall camp in preparation for their season opener on August 24 as they had several opportunities go on the way side as they were bunched up together as they went down the field with the ball.
“It showed to us that we need to work on talking and spreading out on the field more. We were bunching up, not paying attention to positions, so it was a really good learning experience,” said Samuell.
Silverton’s season opener is on September 11 at Cleveland High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald