McNary's Luis Lopez moves the ball upfield in the Celtics 3-0 victory over Canby on Thursday, Sept. 12. Lopez scored the first goal of the contest for the Celts in the victory (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

After losing their previous contest in heartbreaking fashion, the McNary boys soccer team put together a dominating performance against Canby. 

The Celtics possessed the ball for the majority of the game, minimizing any opportunity Canby had for a score, and ran away with a 3-0 victory on Thursday, Sept. 12. 

“When you have the ball, it’s going to give the other team less chances to score. That’s what we work on all the time. We did a good job of holding our positions,” McNary head coach Miguel Camarena said. “I’m excited to see the guys bounce back to get a win.”

Even though it was a convincing victory, Camarena noted that he still wants his team to improve on taking advantage of more chances throughout the course of a game, especially as the Celtics start to gear up for league play. 

McNary outshot Canby 7-1 in the first 18 minutes of the first half and failed to cash in on multiple opportunities in the early going. 

In the 10th minute, Eddie Martinez connected with Elio Carella with a pass between two defenders, but Carella ended up missing from point blank range. 

Just moments later, Carella got by his defender and set up teammate Eli Petilo in the box, but Petilo had the ball go off the side of his foot and went wide of the post. 

“One of the things we really have been focusing on is finishing the goal. We create so many opportunities, but we are still missing some easy ones and that can change the game so quickly,” Camarena said.

But in the 19th minute, McNary midfielder Luis Lopez gave his team all the momentum with an impressive goal.

After dribbling past a defender to give himself space, Lopez fired a rocket into the top shelf of the goal from 35 yards out to give the Celtics a 1-0 lead.  

“That was a beautiful goal from Luis. It changed the game because it forced them to open up more,” Camarena said. 

Canby’s best chances to get on the board came in the latter part of the first half. Francisco Cabello got loose on the right side and had a one-on-one chance with McNary goalkeeper Alejandro Villarreal. Cabello aimed for the left corner of the net, but Villarreal was able to dive and knock the ball away.

In the final minute of the first half, there was a mad scramble for a loose ball near the McNary net. Even though the ball hit off the post on multiple occasions, the ball was eventually cleared out of harm’s way and the Celtics went to the locker room with the one-goal advantage. 

But when the second half began, the McNary defense made sure the Cougars never got close to scoring again as they turned away every Canby threat in the final 40 minutes.  

“Our defense is amazing this year. This whole team has a lot of potential,” McNary midfielder Sebastian Brunk said. 

In the 43rd  minute, Martinez sent a well-placed through-ball to Petilo, who sped past the Canby back line and put one in the back of the net to put McNary up 2-0. 

“Eddie gave me a perfect ball and I was able to speed past the guy and kick it through,” Petilo said.

Petilo would score his second goal of the game in the 60th minute when he was able to get a quality touch from a beautiful cross from Edgar Salazar. 

McNary returns to the field on Monday, Sept. 23 when they travel to Gresham to take on the Gophers at 6 p.m.