Silas Pittman
PHS freshman Silas Pittman buries the shot for a 1-0 lead on Thursday against Cascade. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

After a surprisingly close game at Newport earlier in the week, the Philomath High School boys soccer team learned that the perfect season it had worked so hard for could slip away in an instant with any type of mental or physical lull.

Even though the Warriors didn’t come out and play the perfect game in Thursday’s 5-0 victory over Cascade, coach Dave Ellis called it a “smart, efficient and professional” performance. No matter how you slice it, Philomath is now 10-0 overall, 6-0 in the Oregon West.

“I thought today was a very professional performance, especially on the heels of what happened at Newport,” Ellis said. “Yesterday, we just did a little physical training, we didn’t do anything on the ground, and we had a heart-to-heart … talked about things that we needed to do as individuals better and things that we had done poorly and I challenged them.”

Philomath had control of the game from the start with Cascade never putting up a serious threat to score. 

“We worked on a lot of stuff yesterday just coming out of our Newport game — switched some people around and worked on some tactics,” senior Noah Aynes said. “I think we really picked it up in the second half.”

Philomath junior Mateo Candanoza takes control of the ball and just moments later, spun around to execute a pass to Silas Pittman for the game’s first goal. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The game had somewhat of a sleepy start with the first goal occurring in the 18th minute. Junior Mateo Candanoza worked hard deep in the box and got the ball to freshman Silas Pittman who was able to finish at close range for the 1-0 lead.

Senior Mark Grimmer, the team’s top scorer this season, scored in the game’s 35th minute. On the play, senior Dylan Bell sent the ball in and sophomore Favian Aceves flicked it to Grimmer for the finish. Even though it was just a two-goal lead, the game seemed all but over with Cascade never able to get much going offensively.

One noticeable area of the game could be seen in the physical play between the two schools — once again proving that soccer is a full-fledged contact sport played by padless players.

“We’re all in pretty good shape,” Aynes said when asked about the physical nature of the game. “Coach (Bill) Calendar, he keeps us in good shape so we can usually take the hits.”

PHS senior Noah Aynes works for possession in a physical game against the Cougars. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath went up 3-0 within the first six minutes of the second half when Bell placed a free kick from 30 yards out into the upper area of the net beyond the outstretched hands of Cascade’s goalkeeper. Grimmer later scored his second goal in the 58th minute on a penalty kick.

The Warriors’ fifth and final goal came in the 77th minute. On the play, goalkeeper Teddy Benbow sent the ball downfield on a drop-kick, which Pittman picked up and finished for his second of the game. Pittman in his first year of high school soccer has had a positive impact on the Warriors’ lineup. Ellis said he reminds him of Nick Stucki, a tall, lanky, left-footed player who graduated in June.

“Silas has grown into the role,” Ellis said. “It’s hard being a freshman on varsity but the learning curve is steep as long as you can compete and he definitely can.”

Cascade dropped to 3-5 overall, 1-4 in league play.

Philomath will now not play at home again until Oct. 26 with the next two on the road. The Warriors visit Sweet Home on Oct. 12 and Sisters on Oct. 21 with plenty of rest in between.

PHS junior Seth Arthurs dribbles down the middle in the opening minutes of Thursday’s game vs. Cascade. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath 5, Cascade 0
Thursday, Oct. 7, at Philomath HS

Cascade (3-5, 1-4)000
Philomath (10-0, 6-0)235
First Half: 1, Philomath, Silas Pittman (Mateo Candanoza), 18th minute; 2, Philomath, Mark Grimmer (Favian Aceves), 35th minute.
Second Half: 3, Philomath, Dylan Bell, 46th minute; 4, Philomath, Grimmer (PK), 58th minute; 5, Philomath, Pittman (Teddy Benbow), 77th minute.

Conference Standings
(As of Oct. 7)

Oregon WestConfPct.AllPct.PFPA
Sweet Home

Thursday, Oct. 7
Philomath 5, Cascade 0
Stayton 8, Newport 0
Saturday, Oct. 9
Riverside at Sisters, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 12
Stayton at Sisters, 6 p.m.
Philomath at Sweet Home, 6 p.m.

Philomath 7, East Linn Christian 1
Thursday, Oct. 7, at Philomath HS

East Linn Christian011
The JV team’s record goes to 4-3-1 on the season. … Philomath shot out to a 4-0 lead over the first 40 minutes on goals by junior Nixon Mooney, junior Jesse Erickson, sophomore Sawyer Ainsworth and sophomore Osvaldo Garcia-Bazan. … Junior Rufus Manwaring came out of goal to score in the second half, along with junior Rigo Medina Fontaine and junior Vincent DeMasi. … East Linn Christian was able to score in the last few minutes of the game. … The JV Warriors are not scheduled to play again until Oct. 21 at Sisters. has no paywall but we do rely on voluntary memberships. If you’re already a member, thank you. To join our community as a member or to make a one-time contribution, please CLICK HERE.