CORVALLIS — One of eight seniors on Philomath High’s girls soccer roster, Alivia Pittman appreciates every opportunity to take the field with her teammates and friends. The pandemic has created a situation where soccer games are being played in March with a shortened season that’s already at about the midway point.
It won’t be long now before Philomath’s large group of seniors play together for the last time.
“It’s disappointing that it’s different but I value it a lot, I value these girls. I’ve played with them since the third grade,” Pittman said Friday night after scoring four goals in Philomath’s 8-0 win over Sweet Home. “It’s just a really important team to me and it’s a lot more than just soccer at this point … it has to do with the friendships I hold.”
Pittman scored three of her four goals in the second half over a stretch of just 18 minutes of clock time. She also had three assists in a game that ended in the 67th minute on the new eight-goal mercy rule.
“I feel like we’ve got so many girls that can contribute and get onto the stat sheet at any time,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “It’s just the versatility that we have that we can come from so many different places.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Morales scored twice and seniors Atira Fairbanks and Kaili Saathoff also found the net in a game that Philomath dominated on the Crescent Valley High field from start to finish.
In contests such as these, Philomath tries to fine-tune and diversify its attack.
“We want to make sure we play the game the right way,” Phelps said. “Today, we were really working on spreading the field out and being able to switch fields and attack from multiple directions and really go through the right process.”
Pittman had a similar take on what the Warriors wanted to accomplish. Personally, she worked on things like her cuts and misdirections and from a team standpoint, Philomath wanted to just possess to recapture a particular feel on the field.
“I think that was really important for us tonight — to gather together and actually know what it looks like and what it feels like to be able to play strong, accurate, ball work tonight,” Pittman said.
Philomath improved to 4-1 on the season, taking four straight after falling to 5A’s defending state champion, Crescent Valley, in the season opener. The Warriors are hoping to continue those winning ways and hopefully end up playing in a 4A state playoff.
The Oregon School Activities Association is not sanctioning state playoffs, but 4A athletic directors are working on a possible eight-team tournament during the final allowable week of play.
“It sounds like that’s happening but we need to take care of business in our league,” Phelps said.
Making a run toward a state playoff appearance would be a great conclusion for all of those PHS seniors.
Said Pittman, “Hopefully that comes together because I would love to get a chance to win a state championship.”
Philomath 8, Sweet Home 0
Friday, March 19 at Crescent Valley HS, Corvallis
|Sweet Home (2-2-1)||0||0||0|
|First Half: 1, Philomath, Atira Fairbanks (Alivia Pittman), 13th minute; 2, Philomath, Alivia Pittman (Atira Fairbanks), 24th minute; 3, Philomath, Elizabeth Morales (Bailey Bell), 32nd minute. |
Second Half: 4, Philomath, Alivia Pittman (Atira Fairbanks), 45th minute; 5, Philomath, Alivia Pittman, 49th minute; 6, Philomath, Kaili Saathoff (Alivia Pittman), 60th minute; 7, Philomath, Alivia Pittman (Elizabeth Morales), 63rd minute; 8, Philomath, Elizabeth Morales (Alivia Pittman), 67th minute.
Note: Game stopped in the 67th minute on eight-goal mercy rule.
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