Injuries on defense and unlucky offense lead to lopsided loss against West Salem

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville senior midfielder Araxi Tejeda-Martinez kicks the ball towards the goal last Friday against West Salem.

Wilsonville girls soccer coach Dwight Sheppick is not concerned about the Wildcats 0-2 start.

Not one bit.

"This group won't get down," Sheppick said last Friday after Wilsonville lost to West Salem 5-0. "They'll come back and train hard. Last year we were 1-5 going into league and I wasn't concerned about it because we were playing good soccer and that would toughen us up for the league. That's the main thing and the girls get it. They're not happy, but they understand the big picture."

The Wildcats trailed West Salem 2-0 with 16 minutes remaining in the game when injuries began to decimate Wilsonville's back line.

With Kylie Aube, Katelyn McDougal and Dalton Mermis all on the sideline, the Titans scored three quick goals to put the game out of reach.

"That was a good team," Sheppick said of West Salem. "I'd say they're probably a state semifinals team in 6A and it was an even game until 5 minutes of chaos when we were moving people around. As weird as it sounds getting beat 5-0, I was proud of how we competed."

On offense, the Wildcats kept hitting the post.

"We were a bit unlucky," Sheppick said. "We didn't even make any adjustments at halftime on the attack because everything was good. When something didn't work, we did the right things and if you do the right thing, it will eventually work. The only adjustments we made was changing our angles. If we score one or two of those that's off the post, it's a different game, but they're (West Salem) a really good team."

Wilsonville opened the season Tuesday, Sept. 3 with a 4-3 loss at Bend.

After falling behind 3-0, Lindsey Antonson scored three straight goals to tie the game.

"Lindsey had some good opportunities today (Friday)," Sheppick said. "She was a bit unlucky. She's a special player. She's going to score her goals."

The Wildcats next home game is Tuesday, Sept. 17 against The Dalles.

"I love the way we compete," Sheppick said. "We don't get down on ourselves when we get behind. We fight back. We know we're always in the game. Today was just an unfortunate 5 minutes."

Derek Wiley
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