Salem — Coming off a loss to West Salem, the Saxons came into Tuesday night needing a victory to pick up momentum and get their conference schedule back on track. For McNary, they’re coming off a huge win over a top three team in Summit on Thursday.
South Salem Strikes Twice, Lead At The Half
The Saxons and Celtics hit it back and forth like ping pong in the beginning, but South Salem quickly seized control of the game offensively. In the 14th minute, Alexis Luna Ramirez opened the scoring for South Salem, putting the Saxons on the board 1-0 on McNary early. In the 20th minute, South Salem had another scoring opportunity off a corner kick, but the subsequent header was saved by McNary and kept it 1-0.
Jack Baez had an opportunity on a McNary counter attack in the 21st minute, but he was ruled to be offsides and it was a wasted opportunity for the Celtics. South Salem would have another prime scoring chance in the 26th minute, but it was denied and the game remained 1-0 Saxons. Fernando Hidalgo broke the streak of missed opportunities, putting the Saxons up 2-0 with his 34th minute score. Three minutes later, Johan Singh answered the Hidalgo goal with a netter of his own, and McNary cut it to 2-1 entering the half.
McNary Fights Back, South Salem Hangs On To Victory
South Salem continued their offensive dominance to kick off the second half, as Noah Diaz pushed the lead to 3-1 Saxons with his 45th minute goal, firming up the South Salem lead early in the second half. McNary would take control on offense for the rest of the game, taking numerous shots at the goal and putting offensive pressure on the Saxons.
After McNary missed prime opportunities in the 60th and 62nd minutes, the Celtics captain Luis Lopez drilled a 64th minute free kick passed the Saxons defense, cutting it to 3-2. Down the stretch, both teams had several cracks at scoring but the teams would battle to a 3-2 finish in favor of the Saxons, picking up their second win in conference this season.
Interviewing South’s Scoring Trio
Following post game high fives, I interviewed Alexis Lina Ramirez, Fernando Hidalgo, and Noah Diaz, inquiring about their thoughts on the win, conference play, and things moving forward.
Hidalgo on the game performance, “It was up and down. We dominated the first half and outshot them, but then we let them back in the game and it almost cost us.”
Diaz on the things the Saxons are doing well and need to work on, “Defensively we’re doing really well, but offensively we could work on finishing and capitalizing on our chances. We create so many opportunities, but we just haven’t been able to capitalize on them.”
Luna on conference play to this point, “Its different in preseason because now everything counts, which makes it a lot more stressful. We just have to remain positive and play to the best of our abilities, which will prepare us to play against Summit.”