By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– In the second half of their tough 3-1 defeat Monday night, South Salem picked up the intensity.
Down 2-0 to Sunset after the Apollos turned up the pressure during the final 30 minutes of the first 40 minutes, the Saxons woke up early on in the back-40. Quickly got on the board thanks to a Tristan Olvera goal in the 45th minute to cut the deficit in half.
Monday’s game was one of those games in which South Salem tried to find a way to fight through the adversity in front of them. Shots weren’t falling, it was hard to create opportunities for those shots against Sunset’s defense that adjusted and attacked every time the Saxons touched the ball. Turning it into their favor on the other side.
But the Saxons kept fighting as Frank Kilongo and Nathan Martinez tried to help lead their team back into the game.
“We didn’t start well, the next game we got to keep our heads up and play well. I think today the problem was that we didn’t create a lot up front and we made so many mistakes on the defensive side. We just have to correct our mistakes, play hard and make the charge,” Kilongo said.
Olvera’s goal served as a short-term boost of energy as South had more pip in their steps. Pushing tempo and trying for the tying goal that sadly never came as the Apollos pushed their lead back to two four minutes after Olvera’s goal and played solid defense to keep the Saxon charge from answering their third goal of the game.
The defeat was South Salem’s (3-1-2) first, but they’ll have two training sessions ahead of them to flush this game and prepare for their final non-league game Thursday against Jesuit. One last tune-up and momentum builder for the Mountain Valley Conference-opener September 28 at West Salem.
“It’s exciting because they’re a good team, we have competition and it’ll probably be a good game,” Olvera said of the Crusaders.
Kick-off is at 7pm at South Salem High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald