Wildcats girls soccer team defeats Putnam 1-0
The Wilsonville girls soccer team played a control based game on Thursday, Sept. 28 against the Putnam Kingsmen and it paid off. The Wildcats won their league opener one goal to zero.
The game started off with Wilsonville pressuring the Putnam goal. Not even two minutes into the game, junior Marri McCallum passed the ball back out of the Putnam goalies box to sophomore Camryn Pettenger-Willey who took a shot only to have it go over the cross bar by the smallest of margins. A minute later, junior Alexis Leon-Guerrero would send a thundering volley just left of the goal. This was the theme for the first forty minutes, with several other Wildcats players taking their own chances on goal, including sophomore Araxi Tejeda-Martinez in the 27th minute. Three minutes later Tejeda-Martinez would pass the ball off to junior forward Teagan McNamee who would have her shot deflected out by the Putnam goalkeeper.
Another key to the Wildcats success was their back line, which stood resolute in the face of the Putnam offensive.
"Putnam wasn't able to find the furthest attacker, and we were able to take away half the field. Brilliant execution by the defense what we put in in training," head coach Dwight Sheppick said about his defense.
In the second half, Wilsonville's offense finally clicked. Wilsonville's Pettenger-Willey made her way up the left side of the field, and passed a brilliant through-ball to forward Teagan McNamee who sent the ball into the net on the far post in the 25th minute.
"First, I was just taking the ball up, and I've been trying to challenge (the defender) one v one, and I wanted to take that up more and try to attack, and I challenged her and I think I faked her out, and Teagan made a really great run to the side, and I just hit it right there," Pettenger-Willey said.
"It was really nice, and we talked at half time, 'We're getting a goal,' and they kept saying, 'Teags you're getting a goal,' and then Camryn played me a great ball, and we got one," McNamee said. "The team was ready for another one and it'll happen next time."
In the 15 seconds after kick off, Wilsonville would nearly score again, forcing the Putnam goalkeeper to run out and make a diving save. Five minutes later, Wilsonville freshman defender Keira McNamee would send a beautiful free kick into the box only to have it tipped up and over the crossbar.
Sheppick praised how the team played after the game.
"We came out with a ton of aggression like we always do, we just kept hammering and hammering. Considering the preseason we've had, it's been difficult to get that kind of attack, but the execution to get there was brilliant. That's something we can build and improve on, and it was just nice to see," Sheppick said.
It was not a perfect night for the Wildcats however. In a scary moment, Leon-Guerrero hit the turf hard at the 11:36 mark, and had to be escorted off of the pitch. She suffered a broken collarbone and will likely be out for the rest of the season.
Wilsonville (1-0 in league, 2-3-1 overall) next plays La Salle Prep (1-0 in league, 1-5-1 overall) Tuesday, Oct. 3 at home.