The Grunwald girls are no strangers to the soccer field — a fact that is well-known around Philomath.
Sisters Sierra, Tegan and Jenna Grunwald have all scored goals for the Warriors and the two oldest have taken their game to the collegiate level.
In fact, they played against each other just last week.
Sierra is a sophomore at Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., while Tegan is a freshman at Linfield up in McMinnville. The two sisters got onto the field at the same time about 12 minutes into the second half during the Sept. 22 game but really had no direct play against one another with both playing forward.
For now, Sierra has bragging rights with Puget Sound’s 1-0 victory — Linfield’s only loss.
Sierra hasn’t seen much action so far with the Loggers — none during her freshman year and spot appearances in three games so far this season. Tegan has played in seven of the team’s eight games and scored her first collegiate goal in a Sept. 5 win over Warner Pacific.
Tegan’s goal came with 20 seconds left in the 6-0 Wildcats rout. Earlier in the game, Tegan thought she had her first goal but officials waved it off.
“I actually had a goal before that that was called offsides,” she said. “And when my coach looked at the film afterward, he thought it wasn’t (offsides) but it didn’t count.”
That official got a recent gig as an NFL referee — just kidding.
Late in the game, Tegan found daylight and beat the keeper one-on-one with a shot from 10 yards out.
“I got a pass from the back and it was just me and goalie,” she said. “It was really exciting … my family was there, so that was nice.”
Tegan’s stats this season also include two assists — both coming in another one-sided Linfield victory over Northwest Christian.
“It’s going really great. We’re now 7-1 overall and I really like all of my teammates,” Tegan said.
As a new kid on the block up at Linfield, Tegan is getting used to a new role of coming off the bench.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on the playing time that I do get,” said Tegan, who will also be playing basketball for the Wildcats. “I’m not expecting to start this season. … It’s been a good experience so far.”
One of Tegan’s teammates on last season’s Philomath girls team is also on a college roster. Alyssa Ray is in the Oregon Tech program at Klamath Falls and hasn’t seen any game action yet.
Will Jenna be the next Grunwald to play in college? Time will tell — she’s only a sophomore — but Jenna’s doing well for the Warriors. Earlier this week, she had two goals and two assists in a 6-1 win over Central.
For the boys, Philomath’s Braydon Calder is seeing all kinds of playing time at Willamette in his freshman season. Calder was thrown into action when the starting goalkeeper was injured.
In WU’s second game this season, Bradley Eckerson suffered an injury and had to leave at the end of regulation in what was an overtime game against Southwestern (Texas). Calder played in net during the OT and had two saves in a 2-1 Willamette victory.
Calder is now the regular starter and has a 3-4-1 record with a 1.31 goals-against average and a .786 save percentage.
Among Calder’s performances is a season-high nine-save effort in a 3-2 loss to Trinity (Texas) on Sept. 3 and he was credited with a shutout in a scoreless tie on Sept. 15 against Whitman.
On a side note, one of Calder’s teammates in Salem is Adam Lewis out of Crescent Valley. Lewis has started Willamette’s last four games, beginning with a 96-minute effort in that tough loss to Trinity. A midfielder whose strength is on defense, Lewis transferred to Willamette after one year at Pomona-Pitzer where he started 10 games.
Brad Fuqua is a sports copy editor and sports writer at the Corvallis Gazette-Times. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.