McNary’s Allison Baca takes control of the ball and turns to head upfield in the Celtics’s game with West Salem High School last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The boys and girls varsity soccer teams for McNary High School ended up on the losing end of games with West Salem High School last week.

The girls fell 6-0 while the boys were dealt a 7-0 loss.

The girls spent much of the first half of their game on defense while the Titans took a 4-0 lead.

Celt Michaela Sanchez managed a pair of breakaways on offense, but the first hit the post and the second flew wide of the mark.

“We were letting up a little bit after their first few goals, then we got tired and we didn’t work as a team as much in the second half,” Sanchez said.

Celt goalkeep Camden Decker had nine saves in the net.

“They have a pretty good team and I think our group really worked hard that game. Unfortunately, West scored the goals,” said Miguel Camarena, McNary head coach.

The boys’ match-up with the Titans left Camarena at a loss for words as West put away three points in the first nine minutes.

“I don’t have a clue as to what happened. We had no concentration whatsoever,” he said.

Both teams were beginning their second tour of Central Valley Conference play this week and had games on tap with North Salem.

Camarena said the boys needed a return to form showing the technique and skill they displayed in the early matches of the season.

“We got a taste of every team and we’re just going to practice based on what they were doing strategywise,” said Celt Erik Cid. “We need to practice on our horizontal plays more and be confident enough to at least tie some of the games the second time around.”

The boys would benefit from more fluent communication on the field, he added.

“We yell a lot, but its not directive. We need to be leading each other when there’s someone behind us or if the ball is headed in our direction. Just have a voice,” Cid said.

As for the girls, Camarena has been impressed with the growth of the team despite early struggles within the ranks earlier in the season.

“I was really happy with the defensive output we had against West,” he said. “It hasn’t shown in the scores, but they are a much tougher team now than they were at the beginning of the season. The main focus for them is being ready for a play-in game and hopefully we can do something there,” he said.

Sanchez was eager for another shot at Sprague High School, a game slated later this month.

“They’re playing on our field and it should be a lot cooler. The heat got to a lot of people in that game,” she said.