The Creswell girls soccer team does not have a non-league match on their schedule this year so finding motivation on a game-by-game isn’t expected to be an issue for the Bulldogs. Every game is important.
The squad traveled to Florence on Sept. 12 for a match with even more importance when they were the Vikings’s opponent for the first girls soccer home game in Siuslaw High School’s history.
A very large and vocal crowd, possibly the largest to see a high school soccer game in Florence history, was fired up all night. They saw their Vikings take the lead at least twice and after each Viking goal their public address man’s call of “goooooooooaaaaaal” could be heard emanating through the stadium and the neighborhoods surrounding Siuslaw’s field. All this was not enough for the home team and the visitors from the valley overcame it all and eventually prevailed 5-3.
Siuslaw is fielding a girls soccer team for the first time in the school’s history this year. Though the team made its debut a few weeks prior, the game versus Creswell is the first home game for this very young Viking squad.
A scoreless tie was broken early in the first half when Siuslaw freshman Katelynn Masterman scored the historic first goal in Viking girls soccer history. Creswell’s Tailey Carson, a junior, answered to tie the match at one goal apiece.
Another freshmen scored for the Vikings when Keira Johnson put the ball in to make it 2-1.
Junior Dakota Carson tied it up with another goal for the Bulldogs and that was the score at the half.
During the halftime break Creswell Coach Dan Smathers could be seen giving an impassioned speech to his team in one corner of the field.
“We talked about the need to spread out, pass and move, and talk,” said Smathers.
Spread out, pass, move and talk the Bulldogs did.
After Masterman ricocheted a shot off a Creswell defender to give the home team the lead 3-2 the rest of the scoring was all Bulldogs.
Freshman Elliette Kinney kicked it in soon after Siuslaw’s score to tie it back up at 3-3.
“The girls showed amazing grit and determination,” Smathers said. “Last year’s team would have hung their heads. This year they fought hard immediately and quickly scored a tying goal. My girls have amazing hearts and fight.”
The large home crowd maintained strong support for their team and was at the edge of their seats as the match stayed tied for some time. Eventually Dakota Carson, took it upon herself to make sure Viking fans would not get what they were cheering for.
Dakota, a junior, scored two more goals to give her three on the night. Her and her teammates gave the home team a disappointing end to a festive evening with a 5-3 win for the Bulldogs.
Smathers was impressed how his team persevered under difficult circumstances and was also impressed by the support his opponents received from their home crowd.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” said Smathers. “From the stadium, to the excitable announcer, to the Siuslaw fans making a lot of noise for their team. I think that was a big part of the home team’s hard play.”
The Bulldogs hosted Santiam Christian/Kings Valley Charter two days later on Sept. 14. Creswell was shut out 4-0.
The team traveled to Elmira on Monday, Sept. 19 after press deadlines. Next up is a road game at Central Linn on Thursday, Sept. 22. The game will be played at Central Linn Elementary and starts at 4:30 p.m.