McNary senior Noah Schnell sends a corner kick into the box in the Celtics 6-2 win over Mountain View (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
It may have been senior night, but it was a junior that stole the show for the McNary boys soccer team in their regular season finale.
McNary forward Eli Petilo scored three goals and added an assist as the Celtics demolished Mountain View on Friday, Oct. 25, winning by a score of 6-2.
“We played with a lot of confidence,” Petilo said. “The midfielders sent us great balls to go and finish. Speed kills, and we have a lot of speed on this team.”
It was the first time that McNary has scored six goals or more in a league contest since 2017.
“We needed this kind of performance before the playoffs. This was a great way to end the regular season for our seniors,” McNary head coach Miguel Camarena said.
Once the game kicked off, the Celtics wasted no time getting on the board. In the third minute, Jack Baez sent a deep ball down to Eddie Martinez from midfield. Martinez’s shot attempt glanced off the hands of Mountain View goalkeeper Ethan Mawdsley, but Luis Lopez was there to put a header into the net on the rebound.
The Celtics showed off their creativity on their next scoring opportunity in the 14th minute when Martinez shot a long pass over to Petilo on the right wing. Petilo played the ball to his feet, then sent a line drive pass into the middle to Edgar Salazar. Before the ball hit the ground, Salazar struck a laser off his right foot that went between the keeper’s legs into the goal, to put McNary up 2-0.
Less than two minutes later, the Celtics struck yet again as Petilo knocked in his first goal off his left foot into the corner of the net on a free kick from Jose Martinez.
“In every single game, it seems like we create so many opportunities. The difference tonight was that we put the ball inside the net,” Camarena said.
Mountain View momentarily stopped the bleeding in the 20th minute on their first shot-on-goal of the contest as a header from Wouter Van Toorn trimmed the Celtics advantage to 3-1.
But it wouldn’t take very long for McNary to respond.
After Lopez received a through ball from the midfield, the senior forward split a pass between two defenders to Petilo, who punished the back of the net with a left-footed rocket.
Eddie Martinez got in in the action just before the half with a goal of his own to give the Celtics a 5-1 lead. It was the first time that McNary scored five goals in a half since the 2014 season.
Petilo completed his hat trick in the fifth minute of the second half, beating his defender and winning the one-on-one matchup with Mawdsley.
“We know that we have the ability to score like we did tonight in every game,” Petilo said.
McNary will travel to third-ranked Lincoln to take on the Cardinals in the first round of the OSAA Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 2. While they have been inconsistent at times this season, the Celtics have proven that they can hang with the state’s best — they beat Summit, who is currently ranked ninth, by a score of 1-0 on Friday, Oct. 4.
Even though the Celtics are coming in confident after their best performance of the season, they are aware of the challenge that awaits them as Lincoln has lost just once this season.
“We have to make sure that we’re in shape and that we understand every single aspect of our opponent. It’s win or go home,” Camarena said.
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