Going up against an opponent Tuesday that many believe will end up winning another state title this fall, the Philomath High School boys soccer team didn’t have too many chances to find the net.
Woodburn had a clear advantage with ball possession through exceptional passing and footwork skills. But the Warriors were competing and by the time the final whistle blew, two plays came to mind from a Philomath point of view:
• A no-call red card in the first half when Woodburn took down Mark Grimmer from behind.
• A missed scoring opportunity in the second half when a shot toward an open net missed.
A couple of breaks, and the Warriors were right there against the Bulldogs. In the end, Woodburn left town with a 3-0 victory.
“In the second half, what we talked about (at halftime) was when we broke, we needed to break with a combination play and in the first 20 minutes, we created a few more solid opportunities out of that,” PHS coach Dave Ellis said. “But part of that possession-based style is you chase and defend, you chase and defend, and by the end of the game, the boys are mentally tired, even more than physically tired.”
Woodburn (6-1-1 overall, 5-1 Oregon West) put on a display of its technical ability, which Ellis called better than any other team in the league.
“We stabbed twice and gave up the early goal,” Ellis said. “Against a team like that, what we want to do is make two lines, be compact on the edge of our box, provide them no space.
“I was fine letting them have the ball in their half when they were under control, even at half,” he added. “It was in the space in the final third of what we were trying to limit and they were trying to break out of that.”
Woodburn got on the board in the 10th minute on a shot into the upper left corner of the net by junior Jimmy Martin. Philomath (5-3, 4-2) had an opportunity with Grimmer in the 36th minute.
“In the first half, we only created one great break, which in my mind should’ve been a red card,” Ellis said.
Woodburn scored just 50 seconds into the second half on a goal by sophomore Ricardo Chacon.
In the 46th minute, the Warriors had a golden opportunity when Grimmer beat Woodburn’s keeper to the ball and found himself with an open net. But the attempt went wide left and he fell to the ground in frustration.
From there, the frustrations continued with a couple of more limited offensive opportunities. Woodburn scored its third goal on a shot by junior Jonathan Swenson. However, Philomath did play well on defense, despite missing a key player.
“You have tor realize we played without Bryce (Beeton) today,” Ellis said. “Honestly, to play as well as we did without one of our best defenders, a senior center back, I thought Mateo (Candanoza) did a phenomenal job — I mean, he’s a freshman playing center back against Woodburn.”
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Philomath’s tough week continues Thursday with a trip to first-place Stayton. The Eagles scored two goals very late in a 2-0 loss Sept. 10 at Philomath and Ellis is looking forward for another shot.
“I think the lessons we learned from here, we can apply,” he said. “I mean, we were 10 minutes away from shutting out Stayton last time, plus, we get to play them on their turfs field, which is narrow and is a good thing for us.”
Woodburn 3, Philomath 0
Tuesday at Philomath
WOODBURN (6-1-1, 5-1) 1 2 — 3
PHILOMATH (5-3, 4-2) 0 0 — 0
First half — 1, Woodburn, Jimmy Martin (Rodolfo Campuzano), 10th minute.
Second half — 2, Woodburn, Ricardo Chacon (Kevin Flores), 41st minute; 3, Woodburn, Jonathan Swenson, 58th minute.
Woodburn 12, Philomath 0
Team notes: The JV Warriors go to 4-2-1 on the season. ... The team plays Thursday at Stayton.