Oregon City girls soccer: Spellman's brace puts Pios over Pacers
The Oregon City High School girls soccer team is on the trail to success.
Thanks to two second-half goals from senior midfielder and captain Mia Spellman, Oregon City defeated Lakeridge 2-1 at home on Thursday, Oct. 13. With the victory, the Pioneers now have lost just once through their first 10 matches, and Oregon City (8-1-1, 2-1-0 Three Rivers) moved into a tie with Tualatin for second place in the Three Rivers League going into the final two weeks of the season.
"They're definitely tough competition for sure, and we all knew that when we came out here," said Spellman of her league foes from Lakeridge. "Starting the game, we needed to come out here with full energy and play as a team, make sure that we were planting passes and taking the best opportunities possible. We had our moments where we outplayed them, and we definitely had moments where they were taking it to us."
On a chilly night at Pioneer Memorial Stadium in Oregon City, it was indeed the Pacers who struck first with a goal from junior Elisa Damori in the 24th minute. The teams went into halftime with that 1-0 score on the board; however, the Pioneers came out strong in the second half.
"I'm super proud of my team for staying positive because we were down," Spellman said. "Coming into the second half, we knew that we were playing well out of the back. It was just the final third where we needed to make sure we were finishing those opportunities. There are some games where you don't get a ton of opportunities. We took more chances shooting in the second half, and it ultimately paid off."
Just five minutes after the break, Spellman launched a long shot that dropped in over the outstretched fingers of Lakeridge goalkeeper Cami McCormack, tying the game. In the 62nd minute, Spellman struck again with another shot from outside the penalty box that skimmed beneath McCormack's foot for the go-ahead goal.
"In soccer, you always want to have that person who sits at the top of the box for the garbage," Spellman said. "(On the first goal,) I knew that if I got a good touch on it and set it up well, I had a shot. I know their goalie can jump pretty high, so I had to get it to the top."
As it happened, those two goals were all the Pioneers needed on Thursday night.
To this point, Oregon City's season has been a major success. In their first 10 games, the Pioneers have racked up eight wins, six shutouts and more goals than any other Three Rivers League team. While sophomore midfielder Olivia Bariao-Arce leads the team with 10 goals, it was Spellman's offensive outburst that gave Oregon City the win Thursday. Earlier in the week, Bariao-Arce had two goals in the Pioneers' 6-1 win over Canby.
"We have great chemistry," Spellman said. "We have some great players, and I have confidence that every single one of them can dribble well and take their space when they have it. We all work really well together, and I'm super proud of how far we've come this season — and we're definitely not done yet."
The Pioneers' only slip-up in league play to date is a 1-0 loss at first-place West Linn, a team that has allowed just three goals all year long. While Oregon City won't have a chance to get any revenge in the regular season, there is always a chance that the two teams meet again in the playoffs. The Pioneers are less concerned about one specific opponent, though, and more focused on taking their own team as far as possible.
"Ultimately, I think the goal in everyone's head is to win state," Spellman said. "Last year, we made it to the quarterfinals. Our goal should be to get to quarterfinals and further, as far as we can go, so we can show the OSAA who Oregon City really is."
Oregon City plays its final nonleague match against Central Catholic (3-4-3, 2-0-2 Mt. Hood) at home at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. The Pioneers have three league matches remaining after that, including Senior Night against Tigard on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and road trips to face St. Mary's Academy (Oct. 20) and Tualatin (Oct. 25).
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