Dayton girls soccer kicks off playoffs Tuesday
Dayton girls soccer is still in its infancy, but it’s making a ton of noise.
The program dates to 2010 and is already making history by qualifying for the state playoffs. The Pirates (11-4-2) host Cascade Christian (9-5-1) at 4 p.m. today at Austin Sports Complex in Newberg in the first round of the 3A/2A/1A state playoffs and are ready to make some noise.
“This team is ready and excited to play,” Dayton coach Michael Flores said. “We didn’t finish the season the way we wanted and this is our second chance.”
Flores is referring to the Pirates 3-0 loss to Special District 3 opponent Western Mennonite in the league playoffs last Thursday.
Dayton was unable to muster any offense against an extremely fast Pioneers team, but Flores insists the loss was a good learning experience going forward.
“Their forwards were hard to contain,” Flores said. “But we took note of that and will try to use what they did against us in our next match and see if we can pick up some speed.”
The program has come a long way in such short time. In their first season in 2010, the Pirates went 2-9. The following season they went 8-6.
Improving each year hasn’t been easy, but Flores said it has been a process the players have bought into getting better and winning one day at a time.
“It hasn’t been easy,” Flores said. “All of the girls bought in and are committed to getting better, and they are having fun doing it. “
Dayton carries the building success into the state playoffs against a Cascade Christian team that has momentum going in the opposite direction. The Challengers have lost two-of-four but still present a solid challenge for Dayton.
“Like Western Mennonite, they have some good forwards,” Flores said. “We’ve already seen two of the best and hope to implement their game, so I think we’ll be ready.”
It’s oddly appropriate that for the program’s first state playoff appearance, they have one lone senior, Julianne Benson, on the roster leading the team into the biggest game of their lives.
“Julianne has waited a long time for this,” Flores said. “She’s ready and I couldn’t think of anyone better to prepare their team for a big match.”
The Perrydale volleyball team rode into the playoffs with a 19-match winning streak and continued it Saturday in the first round of the 1A state playoffs with a 3-1 win over Camas Valley (14-13, 10-2) at Perrydale. The win puts the Pirates in the final eight this weekend at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
After winning the first set 25-19, the Hornets responded winning the second set 25-22. Perrydale came out of the timeout with new life and won the final two sets 25-12 and 15-12. The Pirates reached the semifinals of the state playoffs last year but fell to Lowell in five sets. The Pirates (20-6) move on this time around to play Portland Lutheran at 10 a.m. Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Nyssa 3, Willamina 1
The Bulldogs (15-7) fell short at home in their first round state playoff match Saturday vs. Nyssa (21-6) in 3A volleyball.
The Bulldogs took the second set, but Nyssa proved to be too much for Willamina. It was the Bulldogs second consecutive loss after losing to Amity in the West Valley League tournament final Oct. 27.
Willamina lost in the 3A state championship match last season.
Nyssa moves on to play Friday vs. Santiam Christian in the quarterfinals of the 3A state tournament.
Valley Catholic 3, Amity 0
The Warriors (16-8) struggled against a tough Valiants (17-7) team and lost in three sets Saturday in the first round of the 3A state volleyball playoffs, bringing an end to their season. After winning the first set 25-17, Valley Catholic continued to step on the gas and won set two 25-6 and escaped the third and final set 26-24.
“Both teams played hard,” Amity coach Kimi Romey said. “Valley Catholic is a good team and I though we fought really hard.”
Amity and Romey knew it had to toughen up after the loss in the first set and needed a reality check.
“I told them they were already here and belonged here,” Romey said. “They had to continue to play hard and keep working.”
Delaney Cruz led the Warriors in kills in the loss.
Other playoff scores
2A boys soccer, first round
Santiam Christian 2, Delphian 1
2A volleyball, first round
Heppner 3, Delphian 0