By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Entering the second half of the game versus Yamhill-Carlton, Western Christian/Perrydale were dominating the time of possession with the ball against the Tigers but hadn’t found the back of the net just yet.
Their defense, limited YC to midfield with an occasional run here and there as they entered the second 40 minute frame doing the same dominate way waiting for their offense to land that one goal to break the 0-0 tie.
“In the first half, tempo was a little bit low. But once we got to the second half, our tempo was popping, we were going until the final whistle,” said defender Alex Nicoli.
Pioneer Goalkeeper Rylan Webster, who made a save or two during the game, saw his defense putting in the work as he saw the improvement with from his defensive end from their season-opening loss to Oregon Episcopal to this game as they hope to continue this to Dayton Friday on the road.
“That first game I think we were a bunch of guys coming out and just playing, but this game I thought we stepped it up knowing it was a league game and it all tied it all in the end,” said Webster on the improvement. “This game, it was a warm-up for Dayton. Dayton, it’s going to be a battle. They’re tough, we’re tough, it’ll be a really good game.”
At the halftime break, there was talk from the team’s side of the field down the wooden steps coming down to the field from the school that one goal can break this game open.
Some programs focus on the first five-, ten-minutes of the half to set the pace for the rest of the half and/or the game.
And for Western Christian/Perrydale, those first few minutes of the second half was all they needed to turn the fortunes of their game into their favor.
By roughly that ten-minute mark or so, Keaton Hull had a brace feat with two goals and Luke Williams added another to open a 3-nil lead on Yamhill-Carlton while the half was still fresh.
“It was really nice, the first half it was kind of frustrating missing those opportunities,” said Williams with the Pioneers scoring their first goals of the season in that stretch. “But we knew once that first one went in that the rest will follow and it was nice to see that happen to confirm our beliefs.”
The senior Williams too picked up a brace-feat when he scored his second goal in the waning moments of the game to put an exclamation point to the first win of the season 4-0 over the Tigers.
Williams talked about practicing being important to help carry this momentum over to a physical Dayton team that lost to Gervais 4-3 Wednesday in Gervais with finishing opportunities and continuing to come together as a team.
“In practice we need to focus, I believe that the connectivity, passing, the chemistry between us that comes with time. As for finishing, that’s a practice thing sometimes. Getting more touches on the ball, staying late and I think those kind of things will help us this year,” said Williams.
Kick off in Dayton is at 7pm to kick off a three-game road trip before the squad returns home September 19 to host Taft.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald