PHS sophomore Caleb Babcock scored just 30 seconds into the second half to cut North Marion’s lead at the time to 2-1. (File photo by Andy Cripe/Philomath News)

A correction was made at 1:58 p.m. Oct. 18, 2023: An earlier version of this article reported based on an interview that Silas Pittman had an assist on Philomath's goal. It has since been learned that the player credited with the assist should be Jacob Hernandez.

Down 2-1 as the midway point of the second half approached Tuesday at North Marion, Philomath High’s boys soccer team couldn’t do much to stop senior Aden Carrillo from finding the net.

“For me, he’s probably the best player I’ve seen in the league,” PHS coach David Ellis said following the 3-1 loss. “There was a ball behind him and he was able to turn and volley on it and just drilled it near-post. It was a world-class finish … nothing anybody could really do about that.”

Carrillo played large in Philomath on Sept. 28 as well with two goals when the Huskies also won by a 3-1 margin.

The Warriors (3-8 overall, 3-5 Oregon West) will hit the road again Thursday for a matchup against Sweet Home. Philomath will then play its home finale at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday for a Senior Night matchup against Stayton.

Against the top three teams in the league — No. 4 Newport, No. 5 Stayton and No. 7 North Marion — the Warriors have been competitive in each match. Four of those five losses were by two goals. On the other end, Philomath has won all three games it has played against Cascade and Sweet Home by a combined score of 17-3.

“It’s kind of frustrating because the top of the league, we’re close but we’re not close enough to really push them and then the bottom of the league isn’t competitive,” Ellis said. “So the boys are having a hard time seeing when they played better because the results don’t really change.”

In Tuesday’s game, North Marion (6-4-2, 4-2-2) took a 2-0 lead in at the break with goals in the 25th and 35th minutes.

“The first goal was a ball we didn’t clear,” Ellis said. “And on the second one, we didn’t close down a guy 20 yards out on the right side of the D and he just placed it well.”

But the second half got off to a promising start.

“We switched tactics at halftime and went kind of all offensive and scored in the first 30 seconds,” Ellis said.

On the play, sophomore Caleb Babcock scored off a pass from freshman Jacob Hernandez down the left side. The goal cut Philomath’s deficit in half at 2-1.

“We had a good little run but in about the 20th minute of the second half, they got one back,” Ellis said.

The one North Marion got back was on the Carrillo shot. Overall, Philomath wasn’t able to finish when needed to stay in the game.

“We had a handful of opportunities in the second half but we just lacked composure and lacked quality to take advantage of them,” Ellis said.

The field conditions were a challenge, the coach said.

“Their field, I think, caused us some problems,” he said. “It’s really, really wet and soupy and they’ve done the best they can to get going but it just kind of made the field unpredictable. At least one of their goals came from people slipping.”