By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Sometimes in defeat, you can learn something for the future.
West Salem and Summit knew what was at stake when they entered the halftime break tied at 1 Friday afternoon with Madison McDougal having the lone goal of the game for the Lady Titans:
A Conference Title.
Both teams were playoff teams last year with the Storm winning the 5A State Championship before moving up to 6A and they showed that talent when they took a 2-1 lead early in the second half and were playing lockdown defense whenever Aria Dyson, Abby Knoll and McDougal entered the bubble looking to tie it up at 2.
“That’s the best competition we’ve had this whole season. It was a really exciting game and great opportunity to play against a great team,” said Dyson. “It’s definitely a lesson we’ll learn now to go into playoffs, we’re playing harder teams and so we’ll need to play better. We need to keep communication up, we need to keep our speed of play up and score goals.”
Dyson had a corner kick header that barely missed its mark to tie with 11 to go as Knoll had two shot chances barely go over the top crossbar.
It was a good lesson for the squad entering the postseason next weekend that they could improve upon moving forward. McDougal referred to the game as a wake-up call as they finished the game strongly Friday afternoon.
“Just playing hard the whole game and coming out strong,” said McDougal. “I think it’s just like a wake-up call because for us, most of the season it wasn’t that challenging. So I think going into playoffs, all the team’s we play are going to be challenging. So I think this whole game is a wake-up call.”
Dyson had a few more cracks herself to tie the game up in the waning moments and Amari Noor had a shot saved right at the goal line with 3 minutes left in the game as Summit held on through the final minutes of the game to claim the Mountain Conference Valley title 2-1.
The Titans will find out who they are playing by Tuesday, October 23.