By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Their early 3-0 lead on Gervais by the 25th minute gave their bench an opportunity to get some Varsity minutes in entering the home stretch of the regular season.
And as Katarina Kosiewicz scored to hand the Cavaliers a 4-0 halftime lead on the Cougars Monday afternoon at the Capital FC facilities, the reps are just as important as the wins at this point of the season.
“It really helps out their playing time that they know what it feels like to be in a Varsity game so that next season they can come out and be stronger,” said Mariella Saldana, who scored two goals in the first half. “
Bella Alley scored Blanchet’s second goal of the game in the 16th minute to separate the two Saldana goals that came in the 13th and the 27th minutes as the Cavaliers tested out their depth against Gervais with two games left in their league schedule.
“It’s so nice, we’re so happy with how this turned out. This gives us a lot more confidence for our future games that’ll be a lot tougher than this and they have the experience to do well,” said Alley.
Their 6-0 win helped pace Blanchet with 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 leading Yamhill-Carlton, who defeated Taft 4-0, and a game up on rival Salem Academy/Western Christian in the league standings coming off of their tough loss against the Tigers last week with Alley and Mariella Saldana each recording ‘brace’-feats in their seventh victory of the season.
Alley’s second goal came in the 46th minute that made it 5-0 in favor of Blanchet.
Being in the hunt for a league title and the State Playoffs isn’t something new to the program. The Cavs have won at least 11 games each year since the 2014 season and having won league in 2014, 2016 and 2017 as Mildred Lopez (67′) became the fourth different Blanchet Catholic person to score Monday.
With the Yamhill-Carlton Tigers next Monday, these next few training days will be crucial in preparing for that match at YC. The Tigers defeated the Cavaliers 5-0 on September 26.
“We learned that we have to give over 100-percent every, single minute of every game,” said Alley. “I think we come out with a lot of heart in those games. We put everything into it. We play like it’s the last soccer game we’ll ever play.
“Practice translates to how we do in the game,” adds Saldana. “So every practice we have to give 100-percent effort as we’ve been doing and we’ll have to keep up with that consistency all of our effort.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald