In the fourth game of the season, Philomath High’s girls soccer team finally got a little bit of a breather.
The Warriors opened the season with one-goal losses to Hidden Valley and Gladstone before fighting to a 2-2 tie at Stayton. For those that aren’t aware, that’s a tough stretch. All three of those schools won state playoff games last season and Hidden Valley finished as the 4A runner-up.
Philomath scored twice in the first 10 minutes and rolled to a 5-0 victory Thursday over Sweet Home.
“We know that we’re capable but we’ve had a really tough opening three games,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “We knew it would be a tough stretch and we were happy to have tough games but we knew we were going to have some opportunities to score goals and so this was good to put some in the net.”
Philomath’s frustration on offense was beginning to build after missing out on several opportunities in those first three games. The Warriors significantly outshot Hidden Valley and Stayton, for example.
Tuesday night’s tie at Stayton had the feel of a victory based on how the game ended. Philomath scored in the final seconds when junior Alivia Pittman found the net.
“With about 3 minutes to go, you could see it on all of our faces … we were all kinda like this could be a miracle game, we could actually tie this,” Pittman said after the Sweet Home game. “As the time started to go down, there was a little doubt but in the last 30 seconds when 6 drove it across the field and they stopped the clock for us, we were determined to get it.”
Pittman was referring to Stayton senior KJ Nyquist, who attempted a tactic to try to help the Eagles cement the victory.
“She kicked it out of bounds so it would lose time for us, but instead the ref stopped the clock for us and it gave us a little more time,” Pittman said.
Phelps said that with a running clock, it’s not uncommon for officials to stop it under those circumstances.
“If one teams seems to be delaying, they’ll stop the clock,” Phelps said. “I think that was with about 30 seconds to go and we had a good counter and got the ball in space and put it in.”
Pittman recalled the play from her point of view.
“We put it through the back defense and I just ran on and took a touch and then put it right through her legs on accident,” Pittman said with a laugh.
Pittman sat out the Sweet Home game with a foot injury but hopes to be back Tuesday against Cascade.
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In Thursday’s win over Sweet Home, Philomath nearly scored less than two minutes into the game on a Chloe Jurva shot. About six minutes later on the other end, freshman goalkeeper Hallie Couture stepped in front of a Sweet Home shot to keep the game scoreless.
In the 10th minute, Philomath’s Jurva, a junior, picked up the ball on a rebound and sent it high off the goalkeeper’s hands and into the net. Less than a minute later, sophomore Reese Grube set up teammate Madison Rogers, a senior, with a perfect pass to her right and a shot into the net made it 2-0.
Philomath continued its offensive pressure and failed on a couple of opportunities before senior Halle Hewitt stole the ball and scored in the 17th minute.
The Warriors led 4-0 in the 29th minute on a Grube goal. Freshman Hannah Beck was credited with the assist and that was all the scoring in the first half.
Philomath scored just 45 seconds into the second half when sophomore K Bacho scored with an assist to sophomore Ella Weickum. The Warriors spent the rest of the game getting in developmental work while keeping Sweet Home out of the net for a shutout.
Philomath 5, Sweet Home 0
Thursday at Philomath
SWEET HOME (0-2-1, 0-2) 0 0 — 0
PHILOMATH (1-2-1, 1-0-1) 4 1 — 5
First half — 1, Philomath, Chloe Jurva, 9th minute; 2, Philomath, Madison Rogers (Reese Grube), 10th minute; 3, Philomath, Halle Hewitt, 17th minute; 4, Philomath, Grube (Hannah Beck), 29th minute.
Second half — 5, Philomath, K Bacho (Ella Weickum), 41st minute.