By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The 2018 season was the Gold Standard set for the Stayton Girls Soccer Program entering the future.
Having won their first-ever conference title in a season in which they went 11-2-2 and reaching the 4A State Quarterfinals before falling to a Valley Catholic team the finished second in State this past season.
And now, having to do something they didn’t have to do last season with not graduating any, they’ll have to replace nine seniors from that Quarterfinalist squad entering this season.
“In the start it was really rough, like we were all new with each other and this is a new formation. But as we’re playing more games, we’re getting more comfortable with each other and I think we’re really coming together and doing good,” said Maddie Pask.
Pask, along with KJ Nyquist and Kylie Fisk showed the future of the attacking front in 2018 for the Eagles as they polish off a back-line that will be looking for a new goalkeeper after the graduation of Sylvia Gomez in net.
Stayton opened the Summer Soccer Season two weeks ago versus McMinnville and visited Silverton last Monday, the Foxes and Eagles played in the Summer Championship last season, and hosted the Dayton 2 team this Monday at home. No officials were able to make it so it was more of a scrimmage for both the Eagles and the Pirates Monday as Stayton took it 6-0 with a hat trick by Pask and a brace-feat by Nyquist.
But this game, like any other game during the Summer months, gives Stayton an opportunity for girls to play in different positions just in case they need them there come the first official practice in August and for when the regular season starts August 31 versus McLoughlin.
“Our team is making some big sacrifices with kids putting the team first rather than playing positions they want to play, they’re doing what’s best for the team,” said Nyquist. “So we’re making some sacrifices, but we have to do what’s best for the team and be successful.”
And practicing those things this summer in-game and through the summer will help the Stayton Eagles prepare for the season to come.
“If we just keep working hard at practice, doing what coach is telling us to do. Getting use to those positions and new positions, I think we will be good,” adds Pask.
The Eagles will travel to Cascade July 1 for a 6pm game before traveling to Central July 8.