A five-minute stretch in the first half set the tone.
In the 14th minute, Natalie Dunn found Sophia Bauer in position for a good look at the goal but the Philomath junior couldn’t get her timing down to get off a shot. Undeterred, Bauer collected herself, ran down the ball and passed quickly to Kamilla Grimmer, who finished for the first goal of the season.
A collection of photos from Philomath High’s 9-1 victory at home over South Albany on Tuesday.
Three minutes later, Bailey Bell put on a footwork display in heavy traffic and sent a shot into the net for a 2-0 lead. And a couple of minutes later, Grimmer sent a corner kick toward the opposing goalkeeper, who couldn’t get a handle on the ball. However Dunn was in position and buried it for a 3-0 Warriors advantage.
Just like that, Philomath had taken control of Tuesday afternoon’s season opener on its home pitch against South Albany. Sure, the RedHawks came back with a goal to cut their deficit to 3-1 but Philomath was not going to let the game get out of control.
“It’s a really dangerous team,” PHS coach Mat Phelps said. “It’s fun to see all the possibilities.”
Grimmer ended up with four goals — three in the second half — Bell fired one in from 30 yards and both Petra Hernandez and Isabel Morales-Marquez found the net in what ended up as a 9-1 victory.
The eight-goal mercy rule ended the game in the 71st minute.
“We’re still trying out some new things and they really embraced it and came out together as a team and passed the ball really well,” Phelps said. “We had a dangerous attack throughout the game.”
OREGON WEST CONFERENCE SCORES
North Marion 1, Oregon Episcopal 0
Klamath Union 9, Sweet Home 1
Cascade 7, Junction City 0
Philomath 9, South Albany 1
Valley Catholic 2, North Marion 1
Molalla 6, Stayton 0
Cascade 1-0, Philomath 1-0,
North Marion 1-1, Newport 0-0,
Stayton 0-1, Sweet Home 0-1
Not much happened through the first 12 minutes with the best scoring opportunity occurring when Grimmer took a pass from Bauer in the sixth minute and had a 1-on-1 matchup against the keeper. The shot missed wide right.
Then came the flurry of four goals to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead midway through the first half. Bell, Grimmer and Bauer had good looks in the 29th through 34th minutes but couldn’t find the net. Then with time slipping away, Hernandez scored with Logan Cook getting credited with an assist.
“We were really working together as a team and it’s really hard to accomplish that because … we just got together like two or three weeks ago,” Grimmer said. “I just love the team effort — we’re all giving it our all.”
Grimmer and Bauer put the Warriors up 5-1 less than 4 minutes into the second half on a play that was perfectly executed.
“She gave me an easy tap and it was the perfect assist,” Grimmer said. “I can only thank her for that goal.”
The two players seemed to be in sync all afternoon.
“We are working so well together,” Grimmer said. “We were placed on the same side and we are just passing and she’s doing such a good job. I just love working with her.”
Grimmer followed with goals in the 55th and 59th minutes — the first unassisted and the second on another Bauer assist.
“Sophia’s been doing really great this year taking her game to another level from last year,” Phelps said. “Obviously, Kamilla can finish and can create for herself and so I kind of expect that. It’s not surprising to see her with three or four goals.”
Grimmer checked out of the game after her fourth goal with the Warriors leading 7-1.
Philomath struck again in the 65th minute off the foot of Bell. On the play, the ball had bounced off Madyx Mooney, who ended up getting credited with an assist because Bell followed with a screamer toward the top of the net.
The goal that ended it occurred in the 71st minute with Morales-Marquez scoring.
If there’s such a thing as something to work on after a mercy-rule victory, Philomath would point to occasional issues on defense.
“I think the girls would say that as well because it’s a different scheme,” Phelps said. “So it’s figuring out where everyone’s supposed to be because there’s more movement than our last scheme.”
Philomath (1-0) will now turn its attention to Marist Catholic, the defending Class 4A state champions that eliminated the Warriors last season in the quarterfinals. The game in Eugene is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
“I think from that playoff game, they know that our girls can play with them,” Phelps said about the Marist matchup. “We’ve got to execute.”
Grimmer said she’s excited for the challenge that the road trip to Marist provides.
“I can’t wait to see how we do,” she said. “I’m only going into it trying our best and hoping we come out with a good outcome. … It’s early in the season so if we don’t do as we hope, I think we can continue to grow and learn as a team.”