By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– Benji Hudson stepped up big for Dayton in the second half against Horizon Christian of Tualatin Monday afternoon.
Hudson and Tyler Spink struck quickly in the opening seven minutes of their 4-1 victory over the Eagles, but couldn’t add to their lead with Horizon’s Isaiah Jewell cut the then 2-0 lead to one going into halftime.
With a young team this year, at least two freshman and a sophomore were on the pitch when the second half started, the Pirates have some tough challenges coming from the 3A/2A/1A Special District 1 conference. Having played both Oregon Episcopal and Riverdale with Catlin Gabel and De La Salle North Catholic left before starting league on September 30 against Yamhill-Carlton.
“We’re doing good, our two losses are to two of the big dogs in the Portland league. Hopefully we can win the next game against Catlin Gabel, compete against them,” Spink said of his young team. “Just focus on the things that we were making the mistakes on in this game and hopefully be able to be ready and do what we couldn’t do today against them.”
The squad has five freshman and a sophomore on their Varsity roster. Spink and Danny Anguiano stepped up as two of the five seniors on the roster as the second half started. Marcos Ceja in net, along with his defense kept the Eagles from scoring again as Hudson dialed up goals in the 66th and 68th minutes to separate themselves from Horizon.
“It was a big second half for us. We started off slow in the first half and we have a whole week to get ready and prepare for Catlin,” Hudson said. “If we practice with as much intensity as we finished in the second half today, I think we should be ok.
“These past few games have really been good redemption for the bad start, so going forward with these young guys, I think it’s a big step forward to where we want to be later in the season.”
The Pirates (3-2) travel to Catlin next Tuesday before wrapping up non-league play September 27 when they host the Knights of De La Salle North Catholic.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald