By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– This was one of those chess matches that just bettered both teams as Stayton edged North Marion 1-0 thanks to an 78th minute goal by Angel Garcia.
For the Eagles, they were faced with a Huskie defense that pressed them and were aggressive. Interrupting the Stayton offense just enough to keep the Eagles offense from making that one last pass before the ball could get to Jonathan Vallejo. Vallejo, the few times that the ball did get to him, made sure he kept his team in the game going deep into the contest knowing the challenges that this week brings with the Eagles and Philomath in back-to-back games.
It was the little mistakes hurt points Vallejo in Tuesday’s game. But they also know that they got to play until the last minute, something that they’re capable of, with the Warriors making the trip up I-5 to play them on Thursday.
“We’re playing the first and second-ranked teams in the same week, it’s going to be difficult. We lost (today), but we got to pick up our heads and look forward to Philomath at home. We got to defend our home, they’re the defending State Champs, they beat us twice last season but hopefully we can bounce back from this loss and learn from our mistakes,” Vallejo said.
For Stayton, the game served as a good eye-opener in how to play more of a unit and come out stronger knowing they too are in this gauntlet that is the Oregon West Conference along with North Marion. Cascade won’t let them off the hook Thursday sitting 4-2 overall and Newport on the horizon before facing Philomath next Thursday to wrap-up the first loop through league. The 1-0 victory was nice, but there’s still work to do ahead of them.
“Working as a team better and working harder. We didn’t come out as hard as we should have. It was a good eye-opener because now we know how to come out…They’re a good defense and it was important landing that goal for us to be up there in the standings,” the Eagles Garcia said.
Stayton and the Cougars play in Turner at 4:30pm while the Huskies host Philomath at 4pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald