Magical Season: Silverton High Girls soccer team takes second in state

November 2016 Posted in Community, Sports

SHS freshman Paige Alexander, #3, broke a pair of school records with 33 goals and 10 assists.

By James Day

Deeds usually trump words… but words about deeds can sometimes help tell a deeper story, a more complete one. Take the Silverton High girls soccer team.
Deed-wise the Foxes were an amazing story, advancing to their first state championship game while knocking off three top-six teams to get there.

But the words about the deeds… those were just as amazing.

First, here’s Jay Etnier, an assistant principal at Summit High School, who wrote a letter to Foxes Coach Gary Cameron after the No. 11 Foxes stunned the No. 2 Storm 4-3 in the Class 5A semifinals:

“I just wanted to say congratulations to you and your team. The girls played in superb fashion, and earned every part of that win. You came in with two rooter buses, loud fans, beat Summit to nearly every 50/50 ball, and mostly got balls through hustle that were closer to 90/10. It was an impressive showcase of soccer especially considering you had to travel over the mountain twice in a week to play two tough teams. Further, the compassion and exuberance of your fans for the girls was inspirational. It was so good to see you win, they earned it!”

Then, after the Foxes lost to La Salle High School on penalty kicks in the Nov. 12 final, Silverton Athletic Director Wade Lockett received a note from Simon Date, the coach at St. Helens High School, a Northwest Oregon Conference rival of the Falcons. It read in part:

“I’ll be honest, I was there to cheer on La Salle as they are in our conference. Your girls were absolutely tremendous, and gave La Salle HUGE problems all over the field. You play soccer the way I love it played… fast, tenacious, and challenging for the ball all over the field. I’ve never seen a group of girls work that hard for each other in all my years of coaching.”

silv-gsoc-team1More words about amazing deeds?

For the third consecutive season the Foxes played Corvallis in the final match of the regular season with the Mid-Willamette Conference title on the line. And for the third consecutive year they fought hard but lost.

Which led to an eye-opening playoff run. The Corvallis defeat dropped Silverton into the play-in round. They responded with a 4-0 home win against Springfield, then became road warriors, winning 1-0 at Marist before heading over Santiam Pass twice in three days to beat No. 3 Bend and No. 2 Summit by identical 4-3 scores.

Then it was on to the final against La Salle, a team that had beaten the Foxes 3-0 in last year’s playoffs and 1-0 in a non-league match September and was making a repeat appearance in the final. And which led 2-0 at halftime. The Foxes were dead, right?

More amazing deeds. Hannah Munson struck for a goal in the 60th minute, the first goal Silverton had scored against La Salle in 220 minutes. Then, freshman phenom Paige Alexander scored in the 72nd minute, putting the game in overtime. The Falcons ultimately prevailed on penalty kicks, but Cameron told Our Town “the season was magical. We just had an amazing run. This team was gritty, tough and so much fun to be around.”

Cameron provided more words in a letter to students and staff. He recalled the feeling when the title game was going to overtime and he told the captains “take a look at what you’ve wrought. We all turned and marveled at the ‘Black Sea’ standing tall and backing the Lady Foxes. It transcended the game and for me will be ever frozen in time.”

All-MWC: The Foxes were well represented on the all-conference team. Hannah Munson and her partner in midfield, junior Maggie Roth, made the first team, as did Paige Alexander, who broke a pair of school records with 33 goals and 10 assists. On the second team are senior defender Desiree Sinn, sophomore defender Savannah Reilly and senior midfielder Caitlin Keating. Receiving honorable mention were sophomore defender Katie Sinn and senior goalkeeper Kylie Lulich, who turned in six shutouts.

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