McNary held a one-goal lead in each half, but couldn’t overcome an aggressive West Salem attack that outshot the Lady Celts 10-4 on Tuesday night.
The Lady Celts scored the first goal in each half, but in the end it was the Titans that finished each half in their 4-2 win.
“We gave everything we had, but again, I bring it down to ourselves, competing against ourselves and that’s what we’ve been stressing the past few weeks,” head coach Josh Rios Noonkester said. “We battled, worked really hard. I think it’s just the details.”
Yanira Perez opened up the scoring nearly 20 minutes into the first half on what looked like it may have been a set piece, but Noonkester said it was “Just a smart play.”
Bethany Villegas struck a free kick in the direction of Maya Alston. Alson drew two defenders in and feigned an attempted jump to play the ball. The ball landed as Perez came from behind Alston to blast the ball past the West Salem keeper.
“That goal has been coming for her because she’s had a few chances over the past few weeks that she probably wished she could have back,” Noonkester said. “We’re really proud of her for that finish. Just roofed it. A lot of power in it.”
They held the lead for more than 18 minutes until West Salem finally got one past Madeline McLain in goal for McNary. It was West Salem’s fourth shot on goal of the half, evening the score at 1-1 heading into halftime.
At nearly the same point in the clock as their first half goal, Alston broke the tie on a penalty kick after drawing a foul inside the West Salem box.
But West Salem responded, scoring three goals in the final 14 minutes to take the match.
The West Salem attack in the second half was constant, with six shots on goal, and a number that went wide or over the net.
But even with the large discrepancy in shots, Noonkester was encouraged with the defensive effort.
“We’re focused on closing down shooters,” Nookester said. “A lot of their shots were 18 or outside the 18, I think two or three were free kicks off fouls.Girls on our side can shoot more and we’ll keep encouraging to do that, but I think they’re just trying to get better looks.”
McNary has two non-league games coming up on the schedule with Forest Grove in town on Thursday and a trip to Aloha next Tuesday, before resuming CVC league play against South Salem on Oct. 6.