By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Dayton came down Highway 221 bringing their aggressive style of play to the Western Christian campus Wednesday afternoon in the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 matchup.
In front of them however with the Pioneers, had one substitute to their bench Wednesday, had matched the intensity brought by their adversaries as Brayden Hopper and his defensive backline backed up their goalkeep in Rylan Webster to keep Tyler Spink, Benji Hudson and the Pirates offensive attack from scoring.
“We got hammered against Yamhill-Carlton, we knew we couldn’t do that again. We just came out the best we could and shut them out, that starts with our goalie on,” said Brayden Hopper. “We got to help our goalie out the best we can.”
Hopper, who along with fellow defender Samson Hess, had allowed Webster to settle in behind them to read and react to the play in front of him for the save to keep the shutout in tact during the game.
That sitting back and reading the play for the Western Christian defense created headaches for the Dayton offense which had scored 12 goals over their last two games against Blanchet Catholic and Gervais. The Piraters were one or two bounces away from putting the pressure back onto Western Christian to hold them off coming on the scoreboard defensive as the Pirates kept bringing the heat onto the Pioneers.
“It was pretty frustrating because every time we got close they just kick it out because they were sitting back,” said Spink. “Learn from our mistakes and build from them, do what we didn’t do today on Friday.”
Dayton (2-2, 2-1 3A/2A/1A SD2) host Delphian Friday night at 7pm.
Western Christian’s Jacky Choi (30th minute) and Dominic O’Dell (43rd minute) punched in the few opportunities that the Pioneers did get against a similar defensive stronghold on the other side of the field to help Western Christian pick up their second win of the season. The Pios (2-2, 2-1 3A/2A/1A SD2) host Salem Academy at 4:15pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald