By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– For both Salem Academy/Western Christian Girls and Dayton Girls Soccer entering their3A/2A/1A Special District 2 game Tuesday night, there was that one game that helped spark their season around.
With the Crusaders, who’s program had never won more than four games in a given season since starting up the program in 2014, had seven wins just in 2019 entering the match-up after forfeiting their final seven games in that inaugural season.
Since their 6-0 loss to Yamhill-Carlton on October 3, the Crusaders were 4-1 before falling to Dayton 2-0 Tuesday night on Senior Night.
“Just keep giving Glory to God and keep working hard. Using what we have and improving and not giving up,” said Salem Academy’s Dylaniee Carmony.
Dayton, who entered the 2019 season with a young team, you could point to them tying with the third-ranked team in 3A in Santiam Christian during their 4-0-1 stretch entering their final game at Yamhill-Carlton Thursday evening as the ‘turning point’ in their season.
The Pirates brought the pressure, Myers striking gold in the 18th minute to hand Dayton a 1-0 lead. After scoring four goals entering their game with Gervais on October 7, the Pirates scored 13 in their last five games coming out of Tuesday’s game.
“It’s really amazing. I really believed in my team from the get-go, I wasn’t worried,” said Myers. “We played our best, tried our hardest and we deserved to win tonight.”
It seemed like just those through balls through the Crusader defense had helped set up Dayton’s offensive presence during the game. But for the most part Carmony backed her team up in making those stops in goal outside those blips that Meyers in the first half and Paola Covarrubias in the second half had in landing one in the back of the net.
With Blanchet Catholic Thursday to close out the regular season and with league playoffs on the horizon, Salem Academy/Western Christian hopes to use the game entering league playoffs to hopefully land a spot in the State Playoffs this season.
“Most of the goals that are scored on us come from the holes in the line. When we communicate, close up those holes, less goals get scored. If we do that next game, then that’ll help us in playoffs,” said Carmony. “We just need to keep holding the line and keep communicating. We got a lot better doing that this season.”
If anything, facing a Top 10 team in State shouldn’t be an issue for the Pirates entering their season finale Thursday having tied with the Eagles earlier this season.
But the trick will be coming out with that same intensity, that same pressure and the same focus as they had against Santiam Christian, Amity/Perrydale and now the Crusaders into that game with YC.
“Work hard in practice tomorrow and keep our intensity going. It definitely got into their heads (tonight) and I’m just really proud of us,” said Myers.