Unlike volleyball and cross country, soccer still isn’t quite in full swing for everyone in the state but still provides enough to dissect and highlight some teams. Week 2 provided plenty of observations, with many being pretty bloc standard but some are unexpected or surprising nonetheless. Here are some of the highlights from Week 2 of soccer season…
The Clock Strikes Midnight For North Eugene This Fall
Seasons of building up the experience, chemistry, and fundamentals to compete for a 5A title come to a head in 2021 for North Eugene, With eight seniors on the roster, including star goalkeeper Delanie Stiffler, the clock will strike midnight after this season and North Eugene goes into a younger roster with less experience to rely on. The team is definitely capable, picking up a mercy rule win over Lebanon and a shutout victory over #5 West Albany to start the season. The strongest point is the defense for the Highlanders, anchored by Lauren Becraft and Natalie Hobbs in the back half. Their ability to defend their territory give the offense plenty of opportunities, which has been a bright spot for Junior Emily Johnson, who picked up a brace against West Albany on Thursday. They could’ve put more than two goals on the Bulldogs, and with more opportunities coming against Marist and Silverton, they have more chances to further solidify their legitimacy in the 5A title race.
The Lady Scots Are Hot And Capable Of Starting 5-0
Its always a great feeling to see a team that has struggled to build success start off so well, and the 2021 edition of that are the McKay Lady Scots! A program that was winless two years ago, McKay showed small lights of success with a three win Spring season. This fall, they are off to their best start in quite awhile, sitting at 2-0 with wins over Centennial and Glencoe. The Lady Scots aren’t pulling out their wins in a scrappy style, they actually look organized and have chemistry on the field, showing the job of Head Coach Vicky Cruz at McKay. On offense, they are led by Nayeli Flores and Emma Quintanilla, both of whom have two goals on the season and the leaders of this attack. The defense has had a rotating cast of players, but they have kept opponents to one goal so far this season. With three more winnable games against Lebanon, South Albany, and Milwaukie, its a great chance to start 5-0 and build up confidence before entering MVC play on Sept 28th.
Sutherlin Hasn’t Lost Any Momentum
A team that was a cautious ranking by both me and the 3A/2A/1A coaches, losing star and Elite Oregon Girls Fall Player of the Year Jadyn Vermillion was a huge question mark entering 2021. The Bulldogs have responded by saying that everything is normal at Sutherlin. Sophomore Paige Edmonson has nine goals already this season from games against Cascade Christian and North Bend, seemingly replacing their departed star who scored over 40 goals in the Spring season. Freshman Keely Guthrie has emerged as an offensive threat, netting three goals including a brace in her first career game. Micah Wicks and Madison Wagner are also strong contributors for the Bulldogs offensively. On defense, Sutherlin boasts Jaden Ratledge, Wagner, and Mariah Sands, with Wagner serving as a two-way threat for the Bulldogs. This trio has shut down opponents and help the defense improve overall, which is critical with tougher opponents waiting for them in the state playoffs.