By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Forward Danielle Lovejoy was the first to score a goal for the McNary High School girls varsity soccer team in the 2010 season, but it was only enough to tie Sandy High School 1-1.

“We passed well, but we could have controlled the ball a little bit better. For the most part our endurance was good,” Lovejoy said. She had an assist from senior Jordan Salinas in her goal in the 68th minute. Celtic goalkeep Beca Aguilar put up 11 saves in the game.

“Our shape was a little off – people were going to positions where they weren’t supposed to be – but even in practice we’ve been able to clean some of that up,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar’s performance against the Pioneer onslaught was the highlight of the game for Miguel Camarena, McNary head coach. He was also impressed wit the work ethic of defenders Brianna Cornelius and Hailey Scoggins. The Lady Celts recorded 7 unsuccessful attempts on goal.

“We didn’t play well, especially in the first half,” Camarena said. “In the second half we adjusted and we did get better.”

Camarena is still working with the team to improve foot skills and moving the ball around the field and he’s also making adjustments to the final formation of the players on the field.

“We need to get better with our possessions of the ball and we’re putting some elements into practices that address that,” Camarena said.

As the team’s communication on the field improves, other elements will begin to fall into place, Lovejoy said.

“We’re also doing more intense passing drills because we’re getting winded running up and down the field,” she added.

Aguilar was eager to see the team work out the kinks before the team opens conference play against North Salem High School Tuesday, Sept. 21, meets South Salem High School Thursday, Sept. 23.

“I really want to see us tie with South [Salem] this year. That was a major goal of ours last year and we got close,” Aguilar said.