On Tuesday (March 23), Siuslaw’s soccer team held their final home game of the season, hosting Marshfield. The Vikings made major improvements since their last match with the Pirates. Although Marshfield ended up winning the game 6-1, coach Londi Tomaro explained how skills the Vikings had been working on in practice were starting to translate into their gameplay on the field.
“During practices, we have been working hard on passing and movement on the field, and we have refigured our lineup a bit,” said Tomaro. “These efforts were noticeable during our match tonight.”
Siuslaw was able to keep control of the ball for the first 20 minutes of the game, with the mid-field and forwards doing an excellent job of passing and applying pressure on the Pirates’ goal.
The Vikings took a total of 10 shots in the first half, which included two for Jason Garcia, three for Jaxson Jensen, three for Dez Anderson and two for Dylan Jensen. Unfortunately, five of the shots taken were off mark, and the other five were blocked by Marshfield’s goalkeeper.
Their efforts to control the ball were effective, with the Vikings allowing the Pirates only nine shots in the first half. However, out of the nine shots taken, Marshfield was able to score four goals in the half. Still, goalie Kayden Lane was able to make four saves.
In the second half, the Vikings made some lineup changes and, as a result, were able to hold the Pirates to only two goals in that half. Additionally, Kayden made 11 saves in the second half, pushing his defensive skills to the max.
Said Tomaro, “Our team continued passing well for the most part and kept exerting offensive pressure on the Marshfield goal. We only broke into the box for shots four times, but we did connect for a goal.”
In addition to the goal scored, there was a great series of passes from Yoskar De La Mora on the outside to Daniel Paasch in the middle, and back out and forward to Dylan Jensen, who was able to touch in forward and into the net past the goalkeeper.
The other three shots in the second half were taken by Jaxson Jensen, Garcia and Derrick Vanduch.
Tomaro had a positive outlook about the game results, noting that, “Although we lost this game, we feel good about our play and our ability to work the ball around the field playing a passing game, and we look forward to continuing to improve through the rest of this season and into next fall.”
The Vikings went on to play on Thursday (March 25) at Junction City. At their last meeting with the Tigers, Siuslaw lost 2-5, but this time the Vikings came back from a 0-3 deficit to win the game 4-3.
“Going into the game we felt that it would be a competitive game and that we had a decent shot at winning,” said Tomaro, who switched some players around from their normal lineup in order to exert more offensive pressure and get more scoring chances. Unfortunately, those changes did not work as effectively as she had hoped, and Junction City scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of the match.
But in the midst of the first half, the Vikings switched their defense back to their standard configuration and shut down Junction City’s easy access to the goal. In the last minute of the first half, Siuslaw’s offense made a push into the Junction City goal area, with Paasch and Anderson teaming up in front of the net for a goal to cut the Viks’ deficit two two goals, 3-1.
“At the half, we made a few more adjustments to our lineup, including putting our regular starting defensive line of Jerrel Brumley, Noel Hernandez, Daniel Paasch and Alex Goss back together,” said Tomaro. “Along with Kayden Lane in the goal, they shut down the Junction City offense for the rest of the game.”
Despite having some runs and passing combinations deep into Siuslaw’s end of the field, Junction City did not score again. The Vikings’ midfielders and forwards did a great job of winning possession of the ball and pushing up the field into Junction City territory.
“Our passes in the second half were much more accurate and our attack was much more concentrated and intense,” Tomaro said.
Jaxson Jensen scored from close in the side of the goal box, sliding the ball right in the near corner behind the goalkeeper. Dylan Jensen then scored two more goals for the Vikings. The first was set up beautifully by Dez Anderson, who ran onto the ball and did a sliding kick into the center just as the goalkeeper was diving for the ball. Dylan ran in and finished the shot into the empty net.
Dylan Jensen nearly scored a third goal with a header off of a corner kick, but the ball bounced out of the goal without fully crossing the line.
After having a game of growth against the Pirates, the victory against the Tigers was especially satisfying for the Vikings.
“This was a really exciting come from behind win and a great morale booster for the team,” said Tomaro. “The win was made even sweeter by the fact that our spectators were allowed to attend and some of our supporters could be there to cheer us on in person. It meant a lot to the spectators and it meant a lot to the team.”
Siuslaw’s final soccer game of the season will be this Tuesday (March 30) at Elmira at 5:30 p.m.