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Forward Elijah Powlison scored two goals for the Wildcats Tuesday in Gresham

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville senior Nathan Harmitt scored the Wildcats only goal Thursday against North Salem.

Wilsonville was still experimenting with different player combinations last week, and the result was two ties.

"We are playing well enough to get the win, but are just not making that critical play to seal the win, either finishing the goal scoring opportunity or making the big stop when we need it," Wilsonville coach Ian Reschke said. "I believe the boys will learn from this week and use it to progress forward."

The Wildcats first tied Gresham 2-2 Tuesday on the road.

Elijah Powlison scored on a header off a free kick near midfield from Angel Ulloa Romero to give Wilsonville a 1-0 lead. But the Gophers tied the game before halftime on an "unstoppable shot" from about 30 yards.

"No goalkeeper was going to stop that one," Reschke said.

The second half was fairly even until Gresham scored on a cross/header combination with about 20 minutes left in the game.

"We pushed several times for the equalizer, but were unlucky to finish," Reschke said.

That changed with about six minutes left, when a wayward shot found Powlison alone on the back post who coolly finished his shot low and hard past the keeper.

"It was a great game for Elijah as he was rewarded for his hard work," Reschke said. "Great resilience by the team for not dropping their head and pushing on for the tie and

even created several chances to win the game in the last five minutes."

Playing at home, the Wildcats tied North Salem 1-1 on Thursday.

"It was a good battle," Reschke said. "They were quite skilled, possessed the ball well, had a strong attack and strong back line. We were able to neutralize most of what they threw at us, so I thought we did well defensively this game."

Wilsonville again scored first on a finish by Nathan Harmitt off of a corner kick about 25 minutes into the first half.

"The ball bounced around a bit in the box before Nathan tapped it in from about five yards out," Reschke said. "We went in up 1-0 at halftime, but feeling we had a few more chances that we could have finished, so we were a bit disappointed with that score."

North Salem answered within the first five minutes of the second half to tie the game at 1-1.

"We continued to press, creating chances, but did not find the back of the net," Reschke said. "Again we played well enough to win, but didn't have that critical play to put us over the top. We discussed after the game how we would learn from it and move forward."

Wilsonville has two more non-league games (Sept. 26 at Reynolds and Oct. 1 at Forest Grove) before opening NWOC play on Oct. 9 at home against Scappoose.

"I feel good about the preseason," Reschke said. "It's good that we've not had everything go the way we want. It's better that happens now than at the end of the season. The important thing is that our players need to learn from these experiences and make themselves better for the next practice or game. It's a refining process all season up until the end. I'm happy with what has unfolded and am excited to see how these guys respond."

Derek Wiley
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