By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Both of McNary’s girls soccer teams reached the championship game in their respective 4-H league divisions this summer. But that’s not what has head coach AJ Nash excited about the upcoming fall season.
“There’s three rules in summer league soccer and they’re don’t get hurt, don’t get hurt, don’t get hurt,” Nash said. “It means nothing. It’s just to stay fit and it’s more recreational in nature. It’s meant for fitness and relationship development, not for adding to the trophy collection. That trophy is not the one we care about.”
Instead, Nash’s takeaway was how many girls came out for the 4-H league, including 20 freshmen.
Last summer, McNary had 36 players between the two teams. This year, the Lady Celts had 45. Adding the girls that played club or other sports and Nash is expecting around 65 to tryout this fall.
“A strong freshmen class, that’s the highlight,” Nash said. “We’ve got another strong incoming class, which will make the third in a row.”
Nash coached McNary’s Division-II team, which was made up of mostly freshmen and lost 2-0 to McMinnville in the finals.
“It gives me some extra time to see the freshmen without the stress of tryouts and get them acclimated to me,” Nash said.
Jaime Gonzalez coached the older team, which finished fourth in league play but upset No. 1 Sprague 3-2 on a last second goal by incoming sophomore Julie Dieker in the semifinals. Dieker and Abbie Hawley had the Lady Celts other two goals. Dieker and Hawley each struck again in the championship game but McNary lost to South Salem 3-2 on penalty kicks.
“It’s not really a representation of how the season is going to go because there’s a whole lot of players missing,” Nash said. “However, I was pleased with how both teams played this summer.”
McNary’s boys defeated South Albany 4-2 in penalty kicks on Thursday, July 20 to place third in the 4-H league.
After a 0-0 tie, Miguel Bravo, Francisco Rios, Luis Lopez and Michael Reyes each scored goals. Goalkeeper Alejandro Villarreal saved two penalty kicks to seal the victory.
Tryouts for both programs begin Aug. 14. Blue Day is Aug. 19.