Junction City — In a game under the lights at Junction City High School, the Junction City Tigers hosted the Seaside Seagulls in a Saturday night girls soccer showdown. With the rain earlier in the day, the field was moderately wet, providing a challenge for the players as they played in a nighttime clash.
Junction City controlled possession for most of the game, displaying it early on in the match, but the Seagulls took advantage of an intercepted pass and Emma Arden took it to the net to put Seaside in front in the early part of the first half. After a physical rest of the first half, Kalee Snyder took advantage of a loose ball off a Junction City save and she finished with a goal to make it 2-0 at the half. Opening the second half, Seaside struck early with a goal from Anna Peon Marin and the Seagulls suddenly lead 3-0 on Junction City.
However, the Tigers weren’t certainly out of it by any means. Taking advantage of an energy drained Seagull defense, Junction City finally found an opening offensively and finished it with a Kileia Riley goal, shifting the momentum in the last part of the game. Danielle Hansen followed up a short time later, suddenly making it a one goal game late in the match, but Seaside would fight until the end and their last bits of energy to hang on 3-2 on the road at Junction City.
Despite the scare, Seaside’s Emma Arden and Anna Knoch were upbeat and exhausted after hanging on for the victory, and they both discussed the victory, things they can improve on as a team, and the performance on both sides of the pitch. Arden on the defensive performance, “Our back line worked really well as a team, they’re a really good unit and they do have their faults sometimes. Our defensive midfielders do a really good job of helping them out back there.” Arden on team improvements, “I’d say fitness wise we were really sluggish near the end and better communication to improve the game.” Knoch on the offensive efficiency, “They’re really fast runners, there are times they don’t open up and I feel like they need better communication sometimes. They’re good with their touches and they did get the three goals though.”
On the flip side, Junction City was expressive and optimistic following the loss, as their momentum gave them a glimpse of what the program is capable of. Kileia Riley and Danielle Hansen broke down the game, their team goals, and other things. Riley on the offensive performance, “We worked hard that last twenty minutes, and I think it just took a little bit of switching around to get us to understand that we need to get our butts in gear. Overall, I think we did well but there is definitely room for improvement.” Riley on the taking away the positives, “When we talk with each other and try to understand our placement on the field, for us to use that communication to get help and ultimately those passes that count.” Hansen on what they could’ve done differently, “I think we definitely could’ve talked more, we should’ve been really communicative and acting like we were tied to a rope together so that we move along with each other.” Hansen on team goals, “I don’t think we’re too far from the team goal, but of course every team goal is state champs. I don’t think were far from it, we’re serious about it, and we just need to get our butts in gear.”