By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
After a powerful home opener, a 4-0 win, the McNary High School girls varsity soccer team lost a contest to a dominating Canby High School team 9-0 Thursday, Sept. 11.
A raucous crowd in attendance for the Roosevelt game was the “12th man” for the team, said AJ Nash, McNary head coach. The teams ended the first half in a stalemate with McNary having made more attempts on goal, but never finding the back of the net.
“Our combination play in the midfield and speed of play picked up significantly (during the game),” Nash said.
In the second half, Isabella Heath, a sophomore, netted the first goal of the season for the Lady Celts after winning the ball on the attack an placing it into the left side of the net from 20 yards out. Five minutes later, sophomore Kolbie Kopp scored on an assist by Heath from six yards out.
Freshman Jessy Shore scored from 25 yards out in the 66th minute and Kopp netted the final goal of the game an assist by Shore that led to a breakaway run.
The Cougars turned the tables on the Celts two days later in a 9-0 thrashing.
“Canby was our first game on turf this season and it took us about 60 minutes to settle into playing on turf,” Nash said. “We were beat by a better team, and had a hard time finding an answer for one specific player in their attack.”
Nash said the team is adding a new formation to its line-up for deployment when facing teams like Canby in the future.
“It will add another defender in the mix and compress the field,” Nash said. He planned to debut the look in a game with Newberg High School past press time, Sept. 18.
For better or worse, neither game will have a lasting effect on the Lady Celts’ season. McNary’s first Greater Valley Conference contest is slated with North Salem on the road Thursday, Sept. 25.
The girls are currently 1-2 after losing a contest to Crescent Valley High School in its first game of the season on Sept. 4.
With more time in competition, Nash said there are strengths beginning to emerge.
“We are finding that we have a number of attacking threats in the midfield, and will be adjusting our formation to better fit our team’s strengths,” Nash said.
The Lady Celts’ next home game is Monday, Sept. 29, a rematch with Crescent Valley.