Playing in control from start to finish, the Taft High girls soccer team snapped a six-match winless streak Thursday with a 3-0 home league victory over Salem Academy/Crosshill Christian.
“Finally, a breakthrough victory,” Taft coach Joey Arce-Torres exclaimed after his team improved to 2-6-1 overall and 2-5-1 in Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 play with its first victory since Sept. 4.
“We controlled the match the entire 80 minutes,” he said. “We dominated play at every position. The strikers were flying past their defenders and the midfielders were winning loose balls all afternoon. Our back-line communication was audible and they smothered all threats by Salem Academy with tenacious intensity.”
Junior co-captain Sammy Halferty scored two second-half goals and freshman Aubrey Sciarrotta one in the opening half as Salem Academy fell to 2-6. Nicole Reyes assisted on two of Taft’s goals.
“Nicole’s passes were beautiful and well-paced,” Arce-Torres said. “Ana Ortiz and Lydia Prins played superior defense and kept their attacker’s away from the box.”
The third-year Taft coach said the key word for the Tigers was “intention.”
“Pass with intent and shoot with intention,” he said. “Every athlete made it on the pitch today, and the girls played with confidence and high energy.”
Taft returns to action to host Yamhill-Carlton in another league match at 4 p.m. Monday at Voris Field with a major boost in confidence, Arce-Torres said.
“We needed this match to keep the opportunity to participate in the conference playoffs alive,” he said. “We are still in a learning phase, but we are athletic enough to compete and challenge. Like I have said from the beginning — stay healthy and peak at the right time.”
Arce-Torres thanked his assistants, Joshua Vredburg and Kate Quinn, for their contributions and support
“They are not only solid coaches, but great humans.” he said. “The kids look up to them and glean great fundamentals.
“As for myself, matches like today remind me why I coach, love competition, love kids and love seeing parents attend matches but release their kids to the program and coaching staff. I feel blessed and privileged to be a part of the Taft family.”