By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was a Senior Night to remember for sure for the West Salem Titans Girls Soccer team as they held off South Salem 2-1 Monday night to close out the regular season.
And it was just one of those classic bruiser games that you had hoped for with two teams battling for the Central Valley Conference Title. West entered the game 5-1-1 with Lauren Duke scoring the first goal of the game, with twenty seconds left in the first half to hand the Titans the lead going into the halftime break.
The Saxons, right behind them at 5-1 in league, had the equalizer at the 59th minute when Maeve Morris took advantage of a 1v1 to knot the game up.
With both teams destined for the postseason, it felt like one as the season closed it out. The difference maker came in the 68th when Maddison Holstege scored the go-ahead goal. Pushing the contest into a heated scramble to the final whistle.
Holstege points to preparation in practice in helping them set them up for success this season with the squad entering the postseason 9-1-4 overall following their Central Valley Conference-clinching win Monday as they await what their playoff opposition may be on Saturday.
“In practice, we’re focused and we know what we want and when we show what we want…it shows on the field the work that we put into practice,” Holstege said. “I think it’s going to be super hard practice and focused. If we all put the work in and show that we want to show up and show out and put in the effort, we’ll do great.”
South had their chances to tie, as did West to add to their lead, but neither bent nor broke in the nailbiter. It wasn’t how the Saxons had hoped it would have ended, but for South Salem they do have more opportunity to flush out this game when they travel to Keizer on Tuesday night to play McNary to close out their regular season schedule. An opportunity they’re already looking forward to before going into the postseason this weekend.
“It was really big, not just because I feel like this was the best that we’ve performed in years. I feel like, as a team, this would’ve put us up. But I’m just really grateful for how we got here…even though we didn’t end up on top, we still did really well,” Morris said. “Tomorrow is really big because tomorrow decides if we come in second or we come in third. Tomorrow is going to decide if we got what it takes. I know we’re going to bring it. We always do.”
The 6A Girls Soccer rankings freeze at 10pm Tuesday night.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald