By Jeremy McDonald
WOODBURN, Ore.– Call it a stroke of absolute luck with Omar Renteria’s 10th minute goal went through as Stayton Head Coach Chris Shields and Woodburn Head Coach Leroy Sanchez joked about the goal after the game Thursday night.
Renteria’s goal, a blooper put-back goal in a cluster down in the box early in the game, was all the Eagles needed to defeat the Bulldogs 1-0 to complete the absolute rare feat of defeating Woodburn at home. The last time the Bulldogs lost at home, September 8, 2015 to South Salem 4-2.
But, as Ivan Pelayo saved a Diego Amezcua PK following a handball in the box in the 22nd minute, the Eagles had to relied on that defense that has the State-low three goals allowed this season to hold off the Hornet’s Nest they awoken with their goal.
In the downpour and wind, the Eagles sank their feet down and got to work. Loading up their defensive back-end in the second half and let Woodburn come to them with a counterattack approach Shields went with entering the game.
“We want to be able to counterattack, we want to be able to sit back defensively and let them have that possession,” said Shields. “They’re a really good possession team and we want to counter that. We had opportunities; we didn’t capitalize on those.
“Like I told Leroy, it was an Act of God that a ball literally dips in. It didn’t look like it was going to go in from anywhere from over here and all of a sudden it swoops on down. It probably should have been a 0-0 game, Ivan Pelayo blocks that PK…I mean we just played well and I’m happy.”
They had a Renteria or a Jayden Esparza on top whenever they were able to get the ball into Woodburn’s territory to see if they were able to take advantage of the opportunities. But either the Bulldogs defense or one of the strong gusts on a shot or two, derailed those opportunities down the stretch.
It is a blessing, yet a curse for Stayton. Yes they have a three-game winning streak against Woodburn, it’s that Cascade game that follows that has tripped up the Eagles. The Cougars snapped their 18-year losing streak to Stayton to close out the regular season last year and fell to Cascade earlier this season.
Now entering their last two games, Sisters on October 22 before hosting the Cougars on October 29 to close out the regular season, the Eagles hope to not fall into that trap as they’ve had the last two times the two rivals met.
“We got to practice hard all next week, we only got one game before Cascade comes to town,” said defender Nolan Cramer. “We don’t play anywhere better than on that turf and we just got to show it. We just got to come out, they feel like they got our number and we just got to show them we don’t.”
The Bulldogs travel to Newport Tuesday before hosting Cascade Thursday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald