By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– With the clock ticking under 10 to go, Sliverton had a chance to up 4-2 on a charging Centennial squad that had scored two goals in the second half with 15 leading a offensive pack deep into the final third looking for the possible dagger.
No luck as the Eagles Bethany Dihn made a scooping save and sent it down field.
It was possibly one of the toughest preseason schedules that the Lady Foxes had in recent years, and with a few new faces in different spots, it was good to see what they are able to do now as they start league Thursday at Dallas.
“I don’t think I’ve had a tougher preseason but I am so confident in (Silverton Head Coach) Gary’s (Cameron) decision on putting us up with difficult 6A teams because I would much rather lose to difficult 6A teams then to play easy teams and win but not develop as a team,” said Savannah Reilly who scored one of the three Foxes goals along with Skylar Johnston and Bella Jensen. “I think it’s been pretty rough and we’ve lost a lot, but I’m really excited to take on season as a team.”
Centennial’s Chole Smith tied the game up at three with her second-half hat trick, but Mia George and her defense held Smith to those three goals even though the Eagle Senior was challenging them since the first whistle to start the game.
“Going into it, we’re like ‘alright we got this’ but (Smith) is a really good player and I think we just need to be prepared for that. We’re still new, we shifted a few things up this season,” said Reilly, who’s playing more Forward this season compare to last season. “So far it’s going good, working well but I think we’re still need to mature more . We still need some more time to develop as a whole instead of individually. But I think those two goals and yeah they were nice but we need to work on being a tough team throughout the entire game instead of just singling into one half.”
The Foxes did leave a few opportunities on the table in the game, including down the stretch in the final minute when Silverton had two cracks to win the game that they weren’t able to turn into goals on the scoreboard to break the tie before the final whistle blew at night’s end.
Gary Cameron mentioned to his team that they need to finish those chances as they open league Thursday at Dallas before traveling to Crescent Valley Tuesday to play the Raiders as the Mid-Willamette Conference gets underway as they look to improve leading into those games coming up.
“Our biggest problem in the second half is taking too many touches and not knocking the ball up field,” said Cameron. “We played better in some aspects then we have been so far this year. We organize better, we got to the corners and we got crosses but the details are killing us.
“We take ill-advise shots after a decent build up, we hurry our finish or we don’t quite get that quality in the final third. Early on we had a ton of looks that we could’ve put them in a bigger hole and we didn’t and if you mess around with a team long enough and that’s what they did.”
As they wrapped up preseason 1-3-1, they played some three tough 6A teams current in the Top 17 in the State. They lost a shootout with eighth-ranked Tualatin from the 6A level 5-3 on September 13, Cenntennial was 17th-ranked and Cleveland that is ranked 12th in 6A second game of the season on September 11.
Cameron told his team too that they have a chance to make some noise in league this season with the talent they have as they gear up for the league-season with the one thing Coach has been telling them so far this season.
More like a question with a simple answer in response in how they approach the game.
“The question is ‘did you make the play? There’s yes and there’s everything else’. There’s only yes, yes is all we’re looking for maximizing our chances of making that answer yes,” starts Cameron. “You could go up against a girl that is physically, skill-wise better than you. In every competition all game long she beats you, but it’s most important for you to say, ‘ok this next time and every time. If I could just turn the tide once or twice or three times, we want you to make the answer ‘yes’. ‘Yes I finally beat them’. ‘Yes, I got the ball down the field’. If you make the answer yes, your likely to win the game.”
Kickoff at Dallas is at 4pm Thursday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald