By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary’s girls soccer team gathered Tuesday after school for pizza and a short practice, hoping for good news.
The Lady Celts didn’t get it.
McNary just missed making the 32-team state tournament, finishing 33rd in the final OSAA power rankings.
“We had this season probably six moments where we came on an unfortunate side of a decision or a key play and that would have been the difference,” McNary head coach A.J. Nash said.
The Lady Celts finished the season on Friday, Oct. 19 with a 0-0 tie against Mountain View.
Despite missing the playoffs, Nash said McNary had a lot to hold its head high about.
“We had some significant things that we had not done in the past that happened this year,” Nash said, pointing to road wins against Southwest Conference champs South Medford and Mountain Valley Conference rival South Salem.
Along with beating Forest Grove this season for the first time in the last five years, the Lady Celts also led MVC runner-up West Salem 1-0 before giving up a goal in the final 2 minutes to fall 2-1.
McNary only lost to Summit, the conference champs, 1-0 on a penalty kick.
“We were in every game this season,” Nash said. “We just needed one more fortunate result. This is clearly the strongest team we’ve had in McNary history. We’ve got incredible depth at every position, which means even though we lose eight seniors we return a strong McNary team next year. I’ve got significant optimism going into next year that the program will continue to move forward in the right direction.”
The Lady Celts will get a sneak peak at next year’s squad with a scrimmage on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when returning players will play McNary alumni.
“We’re hoping this allows the program to connect with its history,” Nash said.