Late Goal Lifts Titans Over Storm

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  West Salem Girls Soccer has been on a resurgence their past nine games following their 0-4 start to start the year. 

Of their last nine, the Titans have won six, lost once and tied twice in the process as they enter their final game of the regular season sitting 4-1-1 in the Mountain Valley Conference and right behind conference-leading Bend at 5-1.

Going into their regular season finale with McNary Friday, West Salem edged Summit 2-1 Tuesday afternoon.  Scoring in the 72nd minute to separate themselves with the Storm that helped keep them keep pace with the top half of the standings.

“It was so amazing because it was such an important game for us in terms of where we’re going with league.  For me personally that was my first High School Varsity goal, so it was very exciting,”  Ciela Acosta said of the goal.

Acosta scored the go-ahead goal as she was swarmed by teammates excited for the junior on the personal accomplishment as well as the team accomplishment that the goal represented.

West Salem and Summit battled for separation for second-place in league and to keep up with league-leading Bend (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Titans Natalie Cunningham made a crucial save about a minute later to preserve the win.  The intensity and pressure by Summit mirrored that of their first goal, coming moments after West Salem’s Veronica Orozco’s 50th minute goal that broke the then-scoreless tie, the Storm drew a foul in the box and converted a penalty kick that tied the game back up.

“After a PK like that, we were tied 1-1 so you can’t let your head let down.  You have to stay mentally in the game,” Acosta said.

They settled back down after the PK.  The Titans played and looked sharper and kept pace with their strengths to Summit’s strengths, just waiting and finding that opportunity that led to Acosta’s go-ahead with the Celtics in a few days.

“We had a really tough first half, so at halftime our little talk at halftime was kind of talk that we had to apply what they were saying and go after that.  We got that (first) goal and we went from that.” Orozco adds.  “Against McNary I think that’ll be a good game to fine tune the things we need to have perfected for playoffs.”

Friday will also be Senior Night for West Salem with the game starting at 7pm at West Salem High School.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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