By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School girls varsity soccer team quickly took a commanding lead over visiting North Salem High School and rode it to a 4-0 win last week.
The Celts put away three goals less than ten minutes apart to take a 3-0 lead in the first half.
“The big difference between this game and others was the number of attempts we had on goal,” said Miguel Camarena. “That was possible because we had longer possession of the ball.”
First to the net was freshman Janie Jarmin off an assist by Allison Baca in the fourth minute. Madeline Smith netted a solo shot in the seventh minute. Then Jarmin assisted Baca for the third goal of the half in the 14th minute.
Camarena said a bravura effort on the part of defenders Lauren Ronning, Dakota Hamlin, Shelby White, Alyssa Cornelius and Delaney Engle helped keep the Vikings off the Celtic side of the field and goalkeep Camden Decker took care of the three shots that got past the line.
With three games left in the league play, the girls are fourth in the Central Valley Conference and Camarena want them to have a shot at the postseason with success in to-be-determined play-in game.
To do that, they need to step up against South Salem, Sprague and West Salem high schools.
“We need to improve in the intensity, we play in one of the best leagues in the state, and some of the top teams of the state, we have work hard for every ball and take advantage in scoring goals when we create opportunities,” he said.
The boys were shutout by the Vikings 5-0 in their contest with the neighbors to the south.
McNary defended well for much of the game holding North to a 1-0 lead until the 70th minute. Then the wheels came off.
“We dominated second half, we missed at least three goals while the game was 1-0,” Camarena said. “North scored the second goal, then the team went flat, that cannot happen again.”
The team’s only breather in a four-game losing streak was a 0-0 tie with Sprague and much of it has been due to inexperience, Camarena said. At this late stage in the season, he’s ready to see the team change its approach to the game.
“We have young, inexperienced athletes and we have to increase the winner mentality now so we can be ready for our play-in game,” he said.
A key component will be regaining confidence on the field.
“With an exception of the game against West, the rest of the games have been close games, and we have lost concentration at the end, we need to play 80-minute games,” Camarena said.