The Philomath High School boys soccer team came away with one of its most significant regular-season victories in years on Thursday night with a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Stayton. The game’s only goal came in the 58th minute on a Mark Grimmer header off a well-placed Chase Ringwald corner kick.
Meanwhile, the Warriors survived several Stayton offensives, including a stellar effort by goalkeeper Teddy Benbow. The PHS junior frustrated Stayton on several occasions with saves, including on shots from senior Jayden Esparza, last season’s Oregon West Conference player of the year.
“We talked to Teddy before the game and were like, ‘you’re going to have to make saves to win us this game today because we can’t sit back, we’ve got to attack them’ and we knew we were going to leave them chances to score,” PHS coach Dave Ellis said. “But I’ve said it before, I think Teddy’s the best goalkeeper in the state and he covered us, he covered us multiple times.”
The loss snapped Stayton’s 20-game winning streak. The Eagles were unbeaten during last spring’s pandemic season with a 20-0 record and 4A Showcase championship trophy. The last time the Eagles had lost was in the 2019 state championship game vs. Woodburn, 1-0. And it’s the first time Stayton has lost to Philomath in eight years since the 2013 state playoffs.
“There were chances for both Stayton and us to win and we just did a good job of giving ourselves a chance to get lucky,” Ellis said. “It was an enjoyable game to coach, it was an enjoyable game for the boys to play.”
The two teams battled back and forth all night with the game remaining scoreless at halftime. One of Benbow’s biggest saves in the first half came in the 37th minute with a dive to his left.
The second half started off in the same manner with both teams unsuccessful at trying to find the net. At that point in the game, Stayton junior Luis Mejia was matching Philomath’s Benbow with his effectiveness in goal.
One of Benbow’s biggest saves of the night came with 23:25 remaining in the second half. With the game still scoreless, Esparza broke free through the middle for a chance at the net. Benbow blocked the shot attempt and Esparza tried to follow on the rebound. He reacted with arms in the air as if he thought the ball had gone into the net but soon fell to his knees once he realized Benbow had made the stop.
“That double save there was phenomenal,” Ellis said. “And just the way he commanded traffic, the way he organized his defense, Teddy was in excellent form today.”
Benbow has been the beneficiary of training from Evan Munn, former Oregon State goalkeeper who had been an assistant coach with the Warriors last season. Munn moved to Bend but still comes in once a week to work with Philomath’s goalkeepers.
Philomath broke the stalemate in the 58th minute when Ringwald, a junior, sent the ball into the middle of the box on a corner kick. Grimmer, a senior, had the timing and position to get his head on the ball in traffic and directed it into the net.
“There’s definitely luck involved but you also put it in a dangerous spot and you let people read it,” Ellis said. “Our corner kicks are designed to create confusion and we’re big and we’re strong. Mark, he read the flight of the ball perfectly.”
The Eagles had opportunities down the stretch but Philomath continued to play tough on defense and preserved the shutout, 1-0.
“This is the first time we’ve played Stayton where they’ve had to adjust to us,” Ellis said.
Ellis said he appreciated the support from Warrior Nation.
“The fans were amazing — I swear we had more fans there than Stayton did,” Ellis said. “They were loud and they were screaming and they were cheering. It felt like a home game almost.”
Philomath, which was No. 2 in Class 4A heading into the game, remains unbeaten at 8-0 overall, 4-0 in the Oregon West. The Warriors are the only undefeated team remaining in 4A. Stayton falls to 8-1 overall, 4-1 in league play.
Philomath will next take the pitch on Tuesday with a trip to Newport.
Philomath 1, Stayton 0
Thursday, Sept. 30, at Stayton HS
|Philomath (8-0, 4-0)||0||1||1|
|Stayton (8-1, 4-1)||0||0||0|
|Second Half: 1, Philomath, Mark Grimmer (Chase Ringwald), 58th minute.|
(As of Sept. 28)
Thursday, Sept. 30
Philomath 1, Stayton 0
Sisters 9, Cascade 1
Newport 5, Sweet Home 0
Tuesday, Oct. 5
Philomath at Newport, 6 p.m.
Cascade at Sweet Home, 6 p.m.
Stayton 2, Philomath 1
Tuesday, Sept. 30, at Stayton HS
|The JV team’s record goes to 3-2-1 on the season. … Nixon Mooney scored a goal for Philomath vs. the Eagles. … One of Stayton’s goals was an own-goal by the Warriors. … Philomath is scheduled to play Tuesday at Newport.|
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