Viks fall on road in rematch with Bulldogs

Siuslaw midfielder Nikki Shelton throws the ball in at Creswell on Oct. 5. Spencer is a valuable player on the Viking girls soccer team and has showed great improvement as the season has progressed. Photo by Kyle McGowen for the Siuslaw News

Oct. 12, 2022 — While the Siuslaw Vikings are making history by establishing a new girls soccer program this season, the Creswell Bulldogs are still hoping for a shot at the playoffs later this month. The two teams squared off on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Creswell started their season with a 3-2 record with wins over La Pine and Elmira, while also earning a 5-3 victory over the Vikings at the coast on Sept. 12. However, they entered their matchup with Siuslaw on a four-game skid where they played three road games consecutively and were unable to score a goal in any of the matches.

Siuslaw, who was still looking for their first win as a program, did tie La Pine in September and played well against the Bulldogs earlier in the season, despite losing. While freshman Ava Borgnino was able to score a goal for the Vikings, the Bulldogs would otherwise have complete control of the game, winning 4-1.

“We had a talk yesterday about out pre-game mindset. It’s different for other teams,” Creswell Coach Dan Smathers said. “Sometimes they are confident and sometimes they are overconfident. We really came out today with the right mindset, and it really showed where we had our best all-around game … passing, talking, movement. It feels incredible to not only win, but to play the way that we played.”

Junior Dakota Carson had two goals for the Bulldogs while her sister, junior Tailey Carson, also contributed a score and freshman Raelee Green scored the final goal of the day for Creswell.

Creswell played at Central Linn on Tuesday, following the Sentinels’ press time, and play Thursday, Oct. 13 at home against Elmira, who is 1-8-1. After beating the Vikings, the Bulldogs improved to 4-6 on the season.

“Luckily the rest of our games are mostly at home. We have some incredible teams. So I’m hoping that the mindset we had in this game, we can use that in games to come and pull off an upset,” Smathers added.

As for the Vikings, they played at Sisters on Monday night and host Pleasant Hill on Wednesday.

Vikings Coach Amy Tregoning said, “We’ve been working on passing a lot and that’s the one thing the girls were doing a lot more of and getting it to their teammates. We are working on positioning and I think we are finally starting to get that, which is good. We are just taking it one at a time. We are working on getting in front of the ball now, so we have some drills. We need to work on shooting the ball more. I think we hold onto it and don’t get quite as many opportunities as we could.”

Many of the Vikings players had never played soccer before this season and only have one junior listed on their roster; the rest consist of 10 freshman and seven sophomores.

“We have improved so much from the beginning of the season, 100%,” Tregoning continued. “We are happy with the way we are improving, even though we aren’t winning games yet. We tied one, which was exciting. But the point for us is to grow.”

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