By Jeremy McDonald
BEAVERTON, Ore.—It’s hard to phantom that two-years ago that Stayton Girls Soccer would have been in this spot to close out the first week of the 4A Playoffs when the Lady Eagles won two games.
You could see the potential there last season when they went 7-7-1 and reached the first round of the playoffs for the first time in two seasons. But it was this season that it paid off.
They got their first ever league Championship in league history, they collected 11 wins on the season while winning 11 of their 13 matches after a tough 1-0 loss to Gladstone to open the season August 28, a 11-0-2 stretch when they entered their Saturday match against Valley Catholic on the road for a chance to go to the 4A Semi-Finals Round.
“We worked hard every day in practice and we really gelled well together as a team, we’re competitors and we’re never going to give up and we fought until the final minute of this game and I’m super proud of this team,” said KJ Nyquist.
But, it was just one of those days where unfortunate things happened. The Valiant got a goal in the first half, but just that entering the second half.
Stayton couldn’t land a dagger that could have tied the game up after Valley Catholic’s first free kick goal as the Valiant added another goal the same way with 21 minutes to go with Valley Catholic holding off a speedy Eagles front and strong attacking midfield to their first shutout in seven games with the game going final at 2-0.
For this Senior Group, the Izaland Samuell’s, the Ariana Aceves’, the Valeria Navarro’s, the Sylvia Gomez’ and the Plata Sister’s to name a few that saw where this program was their freshman year to now. Three coaching changes and still found a way to leave their mark as they leave that field Saturday afternoon in their Stayton uniforms for the last time.
Over the summertime Samuell said that this year’s team was going to be special and it was as they left their mark and laid a foundation for the next wave of Stayton players to carry this over to 2019.
“A lot, there’s nine of them,” laughed Regis Junior Kylie Fisk, who’s been playing on the Stayton team for the past three years. “We’re going to lose a lot of our backline and their defense, but we have some great JV players that will step up next year.
“Each year we’ve been improving. Next year we’re going to have some of the same players, so we just need to have the same confidence that we had this year even if we don’t have our amazing Seniors.”