By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Sprague had a really good practice Monday night leading into their North Valley League opener versus Corvallis Tuesday night at home.
With three players done for the season, they needed a spark at 1-4 not just to start league off right…but damn to get their season back on track and come together as an unit.
And boy did it pay off against the Spartans from the opening whistle. By the end of the first quarter, Logan Smith had a hat trick as the Olympians led 8-0.
By halftime, it was 14-1. Smith had four goals, Ian Bell too had four goals and Zach Gywn had a hat trick with Sprague enforcing the running clock for the second half. It was a nice turnaround after dropping games at Bend (19-3) and Summit (18-5) over the weekend to bounce back like they did the first half of Tuesday’s game.
“It was really great, especially coming off a tough weekend in Bend taking some hard losses. But we really put the work in and it really showed our potential today,” said Smith, who finished with four goals in the win. “It’s going to be really important for us to keep our momentum going on from practice yesterday and our game today into tomorrow’s practice and Thursday’s into the game on Friday.
“Newberg is a tough team. We competed with them last year, they got the win but we weren’t close behind.”
They tapered off the slash and clash in the second quarter into the second half with Jeremy Buyserie and Elias Polanski joining the three-goal, hat trick club in the third quarter. Polanski finished with four goals in the win as the younger players were trickled into the game for some valuable game time experience.
With Friday’s game on the road and some momentum finally going their way at possibly the right time, it’s going to be important for Sprague to continue it moving forward against the Tigers (2-4) on the road.
And though Friday’s game will not be a league game, with them getting into the five-game league schedule, it’s coming down to their mentality entering each game non-league or league game.
“Whenever you go into league play, it’s always how you practice the day before your game and how your game was previous,” said Sprague Head Coach Efrain Guzman. “I’m trying to get these kids to go with the 1-0 mentality. No matter what you’re playing, you don’t think about the next game you’re thinking about that game that is that day.
“You think about the practice. So always compete, always compete for the person next to you.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald