The goals start to come for Indian boys
It looks like all the Scappoose boys soccer team needed was a change of scenery and opponent.
After scoring a total of two goals in an 0-4 start, the Indians erupted in back-to-back wins. First, they won their home opener 4-1 over Redmond on Sept. 19. Then they topped Astoria at the coast 5-0 on Tuesday.
The Indians had to come right back with a Wednesday game at home against tough Valley Catholic, laden with club soccer players and ranked third in Class 4A and coming off a final-four season. The Valiants took that game 4-0.
The 2-1-0 span gave the Indians a 2-5-0 nonleague record as they take a break until their Oct. 9 Northwest Oregon Conference opener at Wilsonville.
The breakthrough win versus Redmond took the lid off the Scappoose attack. The Indians dominated possession, especially in the first half, and had chances to go into halftime up more than the 2-0 margin they did enjoy, as a couple of shots missed open parts of the net or clanged off the crossbar.
"We've been hungry," said junior Cade McDonald, who got the first goal against Redmond. "Our energy in the first part of the game was just great. We knew this was a team we could play with, and we came out and kicked some butt."
His goal "was exactly what we had been practicing all week — playing the ball down in the corner and crossing it back to the top of the 18/penalty area, and driving it through on a one-touch."
Senior Jake Bernhard got the second goal off a corner kick and a rebound.
"I found an opening and took it," he said. "At the point, we had the momentum and started feeling more confident."
In the second half, freshman Preston Cooper scored for a 3-0 lead.
"I think it was (senior) Teegan Bond who crossed it in, and I got a toe on it," Cooper said.
The final score came from junior Patrick Walsh, one of three players called up from the junior varsity. He got onto the field for the final 20 minutes.
"It was a blast," he said.
His goal was "nothing too complicated ... I had a ball played through to me, and I just took it up and kicked it inside the far post.
"It's more fun to score on varsity. There's a lot more intensity."
Redmond spoiled the shutout in the closing minute, as Scappoose was a bit in disarray in the back following some changes.
"You would like to see (sophomore goalie Jed Barnaby get the clean sheet, but it was a defensive lapse," assistant coach Micah Ortiz said. "We were throwing in some new players, so I wasn't surprised to see them disorganized at that point."
Ortiz was in charge of the team during the Redmond game because head coach Scott Stanton was in North Carolina for a coaching clinic and to pick up a high-level coaching certification.
But Stanton was able to address the team at halftime on speaker phone.
"He told the guys, 'I think you got this,'" assistant coach Marcos Ortiz said.
Five days later, the Indians went to Astoria and went one better, scoring all five of their goals in the first half, with senior Westin Gonrowski getting a hat trick in the first 30 minutes. He scored from the penalty spot after a Fishermen hand ball. He also connected on a long screamer "that had all kinds of wicked movement on it," Stanton said, "and the third was after some of the best build-up play I've seen in quite some time through the middle third and into the attacking third."
Sophomore Andrew Darco tapped in a rebound for another Indians goal afte a shot deflected off the near ost. "Andrew had closed the space to be sure he was there in case there was an opportunity," Stanton said. "It was nice to see him rewarded for the effort."
The fifth goal appeared to go to Gonrowski in a scrum in front of the net.
McDonald had a highlight assist to Gonrowski in the first half, and Stanton said Cooper and Bond continued to impress with their fast pace and continual attempts to go forward.
The gates clearly opened for Scappoose in the Redmond game, and the momentum carried through to Astoria.
"You get that feeling where the weight of the world is off your shoulders," Micah Ortiz said. "The guys were really excited to be scoring and to be doing it in bunches."
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)