CORVALLIS — When it comes to corner kicks, observers might describe the action in front of the net as chaos. Players from both teams jockey for position with the offense obviously trying to get the ball into the net while the defense just wants to clear and remove the immediate threat.
More often than not, the defense wins these confrontations in the box. Philomath had several opportunities in the first half Saturday afternoon against Cascade and could not cash in. Finally, in the 56th minute, sophomore Seth Arthurs scored on a corner kick from senior Adam Hernandez.
“Adam took the corner kick and it curved in and I got to the back post … my head just flicked it barely in,” Arthurs said after Philomath’s 3-2 loss on Crescent Valley’s turf field. “I got to the right spot.”
Arthurs described how the team approaches corner kicks.
“We work on our plays that we make on the corners, we do have multiple things,” Arthurs said. “With this, we’re just trying to cause chaos in front of the goal and then come out, and when the ball comes in, we try to have Nick (Stucki) get the header on it because he’s the tallest and best at jumping, but everyone just goes for it.”
The goal was important with Philomath trying to regain its composure after falling into a 2-0 hole. The game had been scoreless at halftime before Cascade senior Jesus Franco scored in the 49th minute and senior Julian Lopez scored in the 51st.
PHS coach Dave Ellis said his team just didn’t play well, especially over the first 50 to 60 minutes.
“We weren’t crisp, we weren’t sharp, we weren’t intense, we weren’t winning the 50-50s, and the boys know that,” he said. “It’s a unique season and nobody’s prepared the way they should be and we haven’t played … we’re just not familiar with what we need to do.”
The game remained at 2-1 for several minutes before Cascade junior Brandon Withers scored in the 71st minute. Philomath countered in the 76th minute on a free kick goal by senior forward Nick Stucki — a low shot that found the far corner.
On the previous play, Stucki was fouled after receiving the ball from senior teammate Andrew Chatfield.
Hernandez, who appears to have taken the place of Bryce Beeton with strong abilities on throw-ins, said the team needs more playing time together — especially among the defenders.
“It’s definitely chemistry and just getting to know each others’ playing styles,” Hernandez said. “It’s a new back four, so making that work is very important. … We can’t be individually doing our own little thing but work together until it’s a good, working machine.”
Ellis said the team had a poor practice the previous day and then failed to come out with any intensity against the Cougars.
“I honestly said to my coaches right before the end of the game that if we’re going to play this way, I’m happy we lost so at least we can use the anger as motivation,” Ellis said.
Philomath falls to 0-2 and will play Thursday at Sweet Home. Cascade improved to 3-1.
Cascade 3, Philomath 2
Saturday at Crescent Valley HS, Corvallis
|Second Half: 1, Cascade, Jesus Franco, 49th minute; 2, Cascade, Julian Lopez, 51st minute; 3, Philomath, Seth Arthurs (Adam Hernandez), 56th minute; 4, Cascade, Brandon Withers, 71st minute; 5, Philomath, Nick Stucki, 76th minute.|
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