Huskies win two; pressure’s on for girls soccer playoffs

After defeating Gervais 7-1 Monday and Central 2-1 on Wednesday, the Huskies are in a five-way struggle for a state playoff berth in girls soccer.

At the end of the week, the Huskies had seven points in league play, trailing Philomath with 12; Western Mennonite, 10; and Blanchet, nine. Santiam Christian, which defeated the Huskies, has six points.

Most of these teams have yet to face each other, Coach Ramiro Santana said. After those games take place, the picture should be clearer.

The Huskies extended their league points by three by beating Gervais, which could conceivably tie them for second depending on how other teams fare this week. If everything plays out just right, and the Huskies defeat Philomath, the Huskies could enter state as the number one seed from their league.

Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.

The top three teams win a state playoff berth.

The Huskies now hold a 3-1-1 league record and a 7-2-2 overall record.

Their seven goals at Gervais may help them in case of a tie in league standings.

“The first half, we started a little lazy,” Santana said. The Huskies didn’t pressure Gervais much, and Gervais managed to back up the Huskies a little.

The Huskies caught a break when Brianna Wirth sent a corner kick to Kelsi Walker in minute nine to score their first goal.

“After that, we just totally dominated the game,” Santana said. “We pretty much just stayed in their field, backed them up; and they started making mistakes.”

Jessica Snow scored a pass across the field from Sarah Nelson 19 minutes into the game. She put it in again at 26 minutes, and Jasmin Yoder scored another Husky goal four minutes later.

Goalie Kristen Tolle touched the ball twice during the first half.

Yoder scored again three minutes into the second half. followed by Alena Long in minute nine minutes later and another by Yoder five minutes after that.

Wirth knocked over an opposing player in the Huskie’s goal area near the end of the game, and Gervais kicked a penalty shot for a goal.

Like Tolle, goalkeeper Sabrina Davis touched the ball only twice in the second half.

“Pretty much, we beat them by speed,” Santana said. “We put the ball over their heads, and the girls ran forward.”

Most of the Huskies’ attacks came from the right sideline across to the middle for a shot, Santana said. The Huskies defeated Central at home on Wednesday, with Tolle scoring in minute 25 of the first half. Sarah Nelson scored the second goal 17 minutes into the second half. Central scored after that.

“We didn’t play as good as I’d like it to be,” Santana said, but their play was a big improvement over the previous game, against Santiam Christian.

They didn’t take many shots, Santana said, but “we made the shots count.”

As the Huskies move forward this week at home with Blanchet on Thursday, “they know how to play,” Santana said. “They’ve got to want it. They want it, they have to go get it. It’s in their heads.”

They need to execute their plays, win the mental game and take opportunities when they get them to push the ball up the field, he said.

In the meantime, “it’s good to see a happy, loud bus,” Santana said by phone on his way home from the game Monday night.