Wildcats unable to connect against La Salle in draw
The Wilsonville girls soccer team played another tough game on their home turf, this time without the help of powerful forward Alexis Leon-Guerrero, who suffered a broken collarbone last week. The Wildcats spent the game trying to figure out the appropriate fit for their new offense, but fought to a 0-0 draw against the visiting La Salle Prep Falcons on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
Coach Dwight Sheppick talked after the game about the changes they made to fill Leon-Guerrero's shoes.
"We brought (junior) Riley (Breshears) in from JV, who's been injured for a couple years now, and she filled that spot but she's a different player," Sheppick said. "So we relied on Araxi to create some more shots, (but) her game is to fight and win balls and dish out. We're missing that one person that puts a little pressure on the attack, the big foot. We've got to slow our game down at that point, and find the extra pass."
"We had to make a quick adjustment after less than one week," Sheppick added.
Coming out of the first half Wilsonville pressured the Falcons side of the field early on, passing well and finding opportunities. La Salle's defense played well in the first five minutes of the half, but Wilsonville applied pressure. Wildcat junior forward Teagan McNamee took a shot on goal in the 30th minute, but straight into La Salle senior keeper Kiley Russell's hands. La Salle pushed back, taking its shot five minutes later but sending it just wide of the left post.
Despite La Salle forays into Wilsonville territory, the tenor of the game seemed to favor the Wildcats.
"I thought we had the momentum the whole game," Sheppick said. "Part of the issue may have been that the kids were so excited to play the game that they had trouble settling down early. I thought we were attacking good, like I said, it just broke down in the final third, finding Teagan's feet. We rely on her collecting balls and if she can't turn, we make runs off of her and play her. But we couldn't get her foot on the ball to make those runs to release. That's where it broke down."
In the 24th minute, Wilsonville freshman defender Keira McNamee took a corner kick that was sent out resulting in a throw in. McNamee would send that throw in to sophomore midfielder Araxi Tejeda-Martinez, who passed it Teagan McNamee. The elder McNamee sent the ball back to Tejeda-Martinez who took a shot that went out near the goal posts.
Wilsonville would continue to push the pace in the 21st minute when a throw in was kicked around the La Salle goalie box and shot straight into La Salle's Russell's hands.
In the 13th minute, La Salle flipped the field and pushed the ball aggressively into Wilsonville's territory, but would have the tides turned again in the 11th minute. Russell would have to come running out of goal to make a sliding tackle to keep the Wildcat counterattack from the goal.
In the end, after each team had yet more chances to attack and search for goals, the score was 0-0 at the end of the final 80 minutes.
"La Salle is good, they were very organized," Sheppick said. "They played us honest, they kind of dropped off and made us play a little slower than we wanted to do in the first half. It's going to be like this all year. Everybody in this league is going to have trouble scoring. It's very, very structured groups. I don't feel bad about how we played.
"I thought we played good, it's just a bit unlucky."
The Wildcats would go on to lose their next match to Hillsboro 0-2. Wilsonville (1-1-1 in league, 2-4-2 overall) looks to rebound against St. Helens (1-1-1 in league, 4-4-1 overall) on Tuesday, Oct. 10.