The end result of the rivalry game between the Crescent Valley and Corvallis High girls soccer teams Tuesday night probably should not come as a surprise.
The Raiders won the state title last year and both teams entered the game highly ranked in 5A, with CV at second and CHS at sixth. It showed in the intensity of the action.
Both teams rode waves of momentum at times. Instead of a wild, high-scoring contest, both teams came up big when challenged and the Mid-Willamette Conference game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“Obviously we wanted a win, but it was a great game, super intense, what you always want,” CHS junior Anna Dazey said. “So I’m glad that even though we didn’t come out with what we wanted, we still got a showdown, which is what we’re all looking for but I would have much rather come out on the winning side.”
The game was barely underway and it was 1-1 after penalty kick goals by Crescent Valley’s Claire Macy and Corvallis’ Heather Wright.
“Penalty kicks are the worst. Any keeper will tell you that,” CHS senior goalie Ana Bechtel said. “Having one, I think it was a minute, 18 seconds into the game, that’s hard. It’s hard to get scored on that soon against your rivalry team off of a goal that you don’t really have a chance to save and then have to be, OK, we just started, anything can happen. We have to come back, we can’t just hang our heads.”
Both teams had chances at taking the lead, with plenty of action in the second half. Goalies Peyton Dale (CV) and Bechtel came up with key saves.
The Spartans put together a flurry of offense for a stretch, with Dale stopping two shots and one clanging off the side bar.
“I think our defense did pretty well and that helped me remain confident in myself,” Dale, a senior, said. “I know that PK call was pretty controversial, so I was able to stay pretty up in my spirits and I never got down on myself and I had just been feeling pretty good all day, so I knew I was going to have a good day in goal.”
Dazey was the focal point of most of those CHS possessions. She said her teammates were able to set her up for good looks, but they didn’t find the net.
“Their defense is solid and we wanted to try to get around them as much as we could,” Dazey said. “We made a bunch of good pushes, we had opportunities, we just couldn’t finish them.”
A CV free kick with eight minutes to go found the crossbar and the Raiders defense rejected a CHS push and an ensuing free kick went wide.
The last chance to break the tie came with 2:09 to go. Dale was called for taking down a CHS player, but the penalty kick sailed over the goal.
“I think that we’re both really good teams and it was like a little bit of a war of fitness there at the end and certainly they had one or two off the post and we had I think three off the post, so it could have gone either way,” CV coach Blake Leamy said. “I thought both teams represented their schools really well, I thought it was a clean game overall, I thought the girls did a nice job with that.”
The Spartans are now 6-1-2 overall, 2-0-1 in the MWC and have moved up to No. 5 in the rankings.
CHS finishes the regular season with road trips to South Albany and North Salem, with Lebanon and West Albany, the conference leader at 5-0, at home.
“They were state champs last year and anything can happen this year, but it’s kind of nice knowing that we can hang with them, we can beat them if it was any given day,” Bechtel said. “We prefer a win, we’ll take a tie. CV lost to West Albany and we haven’t lost yet, so that’s a good place to be at. We’ll just have to keep fighting for the rest of our games and hopefully win the rest of our games.”
The Raiders are 6-2-1, 1-1-1 and remain at No. 2. CV winds up the regular season with road trips to Central and Lebanon and home games against South Albany, Ridgeview and North Salem.
“We lost to West Albany, so we’re not probably going to win the league and that’s OK, but we’ll still probably finish second or third in the state,” Leamy said. “And we’ve got some games where we get to finish at the end of the season and should be able to score a lot of goals and practice on that stuff and so we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.
"I don’t think the girls are depressed at all, they feel like we outplayed (CHS) and they feel pretty confident about how we played. Our spirits are in good shape.”