SALEM Stayton did what no other boys soccer team in Oregon could this season when it defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 1-0 Tuesday in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Playing at Sprague High School in Salem, the Eagles (16-1)?drew first blood in the 20th minute and then went into defensive mode.
The Eagles goal came on a direct kick that caromed off the crossbar and then the back of Mac-Hi goal keeper Francisco Flores and into the net.
After they scored the goal all they did was back everyone in the back and basically played boot-ball,?said Mac-Hi coach Jose Garcia. They were just booting it out of there.
The Pioneers (17-1) played the game with forward Oscar Flores and his injured ankle at 60 percent by Garcias estimation and got several scoring opportunities in the game, the coach said.
Right now theyre very upset because we know we missed this opportunity,?he said. We were so close.
When the Pioneers fell behind 1-0 to Roosevelt in the first round of the state playoffs the team was able to rebound for a 4-2 win.
It was the first time the team had trailed all season. Coach Garcia said that although they responded well the first time, playing from behind was the thing he worried about most going into the semifinals.
With the added adrenaline and sense of urgency associated with trying to come from behind in the state playoffs, Garcia said his team was trying to force the action, which led to more frantic play.
One positive did arise from the contest, though, as three Mac-Hi players drew the attention of Oregon State University.
Garcia said the Beavers expressed interest in forwards Flores and Johnny Trevino and midfielder Jose Herrera.