Oct. 1, 2021 — The Siuslaw Viking soccer team headed to the valley for two Sky-Em League games this week, losing close matches to Junction City and Elmira.
On Sept. 27, Siuslaw made the trip to Junction City to face the Tigers. Though they came home with a loss, the 3-1 margin was the closest of the league season for the Vikings up to that point.
Siuslaw got on the board first when sophomore Braxton Hulet sent a perfect drop pass to senior Jason Garcia who one-touched it into the goal to put the Vikings up 1-0.
Junction City answered by scoring twice before the half to go up 2-1.
“We were hopeful that we could even the score and gain an advantage, but the second half proved to be a back and forth battle that did not go our way,” said Viking Coach Londi Tom Tomaro.
The Tiger defense in the second half was stout and allowed very few chances for the Vikings.
“Junction City kept our forwards from gaining any meaningful chances in front of the net for the rest of the game,” said Tomaro.
Though sophomore Derrick Vanduch had a good game in goal with eight saves, it was not enough as the Tigers scored once more in the second half for a final score of 3-1 Junction City.
On Sept. 29, the Vikings faced the Elmira Falcons on their home field. Siuslaw lost but gave up only two goals to Elmira, the least of any SHS opponent in Sky-Em play.
Though the Vikings didn’t score in the first half, they also held Elmira scoreless.
Tomaro noted her team’s improved play.
“In the first half, we applied a lot of pressure in the opponent’s end,” said Tomaro. “We were doing better at some of the things that have been plaguing us in previous games; for example, going to passes and winning the ball in the air.”
Elmira scored first on a long high shot which gave them some momentum, which helped them to score again before Siuslaw could answer.
Senior Jason Garcia finally got the Vikings on the board with a goal from Elmira’s penalty area. Garcia has been Siuslaw’s most consistent player and is the leading scorer for the Viks.
The rest of the game was a series of attempts by both teams to get a breakaway on the other team’s defense. Fatigue became a factor for Siuslaw.
“In the second half, the players were tired, and it showed in their ability to get to the ball and to make successful passes,” said Tomaro.
The game ended with a victory for the Falcons, 2-1.
Though the loss is disappointing, the Vikings are showing significant improvement as they head into the second half of league play.
Siuslaw has two home games next week against two of the top teams in the Sky-Em league. On Monday, Oct. 4, the team faces Cottage Grove, followed by Marist on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Both games are at 6:30 p.m. at the Siuslaw soccer field at the corner of 27th and Oak streets. Admission is free.