Stayton Picks Up 18th-Straight Win Thursday Night

By Jeremy McDonald

STAYTON, Ore.–  The Stayton Eagles Boys Soccer team were soaring the opening twenty minutes of their 5-0 win over Sisters Thursday evening at home.

The Esparza brothers of Ishmel and Jayden netted goals as did Riley Burns to quickly put the Eagles ahead 3-0 against the Outlaws who entered the game 3-0 and eighth in the coaches’ poll as the Oregon West Conference officially kicked off this week.

“We started off pretty hot.  We had good chemistry, we made the passes that (Head Coach Chris) Shields wanted us to (make),” Burns said.  “We just listened to him on the sidelines, but as the half went on, the second half…we went away from that in the second half.”

Stayton’s defense continued to dominate entering their sixth-game of the year, holding their opponents to three goals coming out of their Thursday contest.  Offensively, it cooled off a little bit over the course of the next sixty minutes however.

Yes they picked up two more goals along the way, one each by the Esparza Brothers, Sisters settled back defensively.  The energy was there.  It was just a solid defense in front of them that was creating issues for them.

The Sisters defense slowed Stayton’s offensive pace down over the final 60 minutes, surrendering two goals after the Eagles scored three in the opening 20 minutes Thursday (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Outlaws were closing down in the 18-yard box, clogging the middle and forcing the Eagles to work from the outside and deep as the river of scoring they experienced in the first 20 was reduced to a trickle over the remainder of the game.

“They were defending pretty deep into the back, we had a lot of space in the middle, getting touches and moving it outside.  They had a good defense,” Jayden Esparza described the Sisters defense down the stretch.  “We should come up with the same energy every game, play hard and give it our all until the last whistle.”

Since their 2019 4A State Title loss to Woodburn, Stayton has wheeled off 18-straight wins.  12-0 in the Spring and a 6-0 start to the 2021 Fall Season.  But in front of them now is Cascade at Cascade. 

The Cougars handed the Eagles their last regular season defeat during that 2019 season, a 1-0 defeat in Turner.  Knowing it’ll be a tough game, Stayton’s hoping to come out as they usually do and play to their strengths on Tuesday for the 4:30 game.

“It’s going to be a hard game.  I think once we play like we want to…once we get the ball to Jayden’s feet it’ll be good.  Jayden and Ishmel, we can play off them and that comes opportunities to me and the other wings,” Burns said.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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