By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Yamhill-Carlton always seems to present a challenge for teams since they dropped from 4A to 3A three years ago.
They’re aggressive and they’re physical.
And when both teams met on the turf field at Blanchet Catholic School Wednesday evening, it was a good test for the Cavaliers to start their shortened season to see where they’re at against what the Tigers presented.
“We always knew YC was a good team. Since they joined our league, we knew they were a tough team. I knew going in it was going to be a tough game,” said Senior Midfielder Karla Diaz of the game.
Yamhill-Carlton struck first in the tenth minute and Blanchet answered right back five minutes later when Rebecca O’Dell connected on a shot that knotted the game up 1-1.
The Cavs were going with a freshman in net on Opening Day in Audrey Day. The Freshman had stepped up, made stops with the Tigers picking up steam during the final 20 minutes of the first half and continued that trend into the second half. Playing as if she had some Varsity experience already prior to Wednesday’s 4-1 win in favor of Yamhill-Carlton.
“For her first time as a freshman, she did amazing,” O’Dell said of her freshman goalkeeper. “Especially with our old goalie leaving, this was sprung on her and she did such a great job with her training for this game.”
“I’m really proud of her,” adds Diaz. “She did really good and she’s only going to get better from here. It’s only the beginning for her.”
The thing that spelt doom for the Cavs on this day was finishing opportunities with the Tigers finishing there’s. O’Dell and Kayla Greenwood had opportunities to tie the game up at two or draw Yamhill-Carlton back into reach. Communication for the quiet team plagued them a bit as well in setting up opportunities to halt runs defensively and finishing those opportunities offensively.
But with it just being their first game of the season, they have plenty of opportunities to go back to practice in preparation for Salem Academy on Monday Night at 6:15pm. Taking what Wednesday showed them and taking them back to the drawing board in training.
“I think it’s very tough because our team doesn’t talk too much. I feel like we have a lot of good opportunities in this game, but we couldn’t get them to drop,” said O’Dell.
“It’s going to help us a lot. We have a lot of people switching positions consistently and we’re trying to figure out where everyone goes. That’s going to be a big piece,” adds Diaz. “I feel like going into the next game, we’re going to have a better understanding of where everyone needs to be. We got new people playing new positions and just communicated more through practice.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald