By Jeremy McDonald
Some would say the first ten minutes of any half can set the pace of any half of a game, and the second half of North Salem-Dallas Boys Soccer 4-2 Vikings win was no exception to that theory.
What started as a 1-1 second half score saw both squads score once and a yellow card was given out with the physicality of the game picking up entering the second ten minute phase with both team’s looking for playoff spots being on the bubble.
“It was 1-1 at halftime, so we were looking to take advantage from there. Trying to get the lead and maintain it,” said Dallas Dragon’s Caleb Kiner. “It was physical. Both teams fighting to get a spot in the playoffs, just keep battling hard and just have to win games from here on out. We have to win the rest.”
Kiner tied the game up at two in the 47th minute, about 30 seconds after North Salem’s Alexis Ramirez handed the Viks a 2-1 lead with the game looking like it was going to be a bruising shootout with how often they were scoring and tackling one another on the pitch.
The physicality stayed the same as the scoring tailed off a bit. Kiner almost had a hat trick when his shot was saved by Jakob Jensen to keep the sophomore and his Dallas squad from taking the lead with the Vikings pushing tempo as they did in their previous game against Silverton last Tuesday in Silverton.
Like their game against the Foxes, the Dragons too found ways to keep North Salem from taking the lead themselves with some quick reactions by the Dallas defense from inside the 18-yard box.
But eventually, the tempo and physicality would pay off for the away team. Ramirez would hand the Vikings back the lead with 19:56 left in the game after North Salem pushed tempo and finally finding the back of the net to break the 2-2 tie.
Ramirez picked up the hat trick with 8:45 left in the game to ice the win in favor of the Vikings as they bounced back from their tough 4-2 loss to Silverton with number 2 Corvallis coming to town Thursday night for Senior Night at 7pm.
“It was important because we knew we had the Silverton game. We just gave it away with our mistakes, and now that we capitalized, we got our chances, we finished and now we can move forward,” said Ramirez. “It’s been multiple games where we found opportunities, we just never finished them. It was good to have a boost.”
Dallas travels to West Albany Thursday for a 7pm game.