By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore– The 2021 Dayton Girls Soccer team set a new standard for the program moving into the 2022 season.
Ranked third in the first OSAAToday Coaches Poll following their 13-3-1 and 3A/2A/1A State Semifinals appearance, making history in the process by reaching the Final Four round while returning the bulk of their roster from that team. Ready to go once more for a deep run, seeing if they can reach that same level again and maybe further by going to the State Finals by seasons end.
“That was one of the best years in a couple of years, it was the furthest we’ve ever been and it was really exciting to go that far. It was something that we worked hard for and hopefully this year we will go farther,” Jasmin Reos said. “I think we’re going in stronger this year because we still have the same girls. We’ve only lost two girls, so we’re trying to make the best out of it and go forward with it.”
Reos, Taylor Wilson, Kya Kerns, Kya Lidell, Yulisa Anguiano, Renika Oliveria and Josie Shilhanek are just some of the names returning from that Semifinalist team. But one of the holes that the Pirates will need to fill will be in goal with Adalynn Williams graduating.
Natalie Oliveria will be taking over and saw some action back during the 3A/2A/1A State Semifinal game in net against Oregon Episcopal in the 6-0 defeat with the junior taking over full-time in 2022. Just sharpening up the little details as the junior takes over the goalie duties this Fall.
“I think I’m doing better than I did last year when it comes to skills like diving, jumping and sharpness. But diving really needs more work, I can be a lot better at it. I’m going to work on jumping in the air and getting more skilled,” Oliveria said.
Wednesday’s practice was just another opportunity to get better. To improve as they have the one of the toughest challenges to open up the season when they play the Aardvarks Monday on the road. It’s their only non-league game before kicking off the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 conference play September 6 at Gervais when they play the Gervais/Kennedy Co-Op squad.
“This OES game, since it is non-league, it’ll be a good practice game since we didn’t get much Summer League games this year. They worked us hard last year, they were hard last year so I’m looking forward to pushing hard again this year and improving and see if we improved as a team,” Oliveria said.
“That one is going to be a hard one, but I think we’re ready for it. I think mentally we just have to prepare for it,” adds Reos.
The Pirates first home game will be September 12 when they host Blanchet Catholic as Dayton will start the season with seven road games in their first eight games of the season.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald