Creswell, Sports

Lady Dawgs honor soccer seniors, look to playoffs

BULLDOGS GOALKEEPER TABETHA DONOVAN HUGS HER TEAMMATE ALLISON SMATHERS AFTER HER GOAL DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE CRESWELL VS SANTIAM CHRISTIAN GAME ON OCT. 15. THE CRESWELL BULLDOGS TIED WITH THE SANTIAM CHRISTIAN EAGLES 1-1 AND HAVE A CURRENT OVERALL SEASON RECORD OF 5-2-5. Christopher Palanuk/The Creswell Chronicle

Battling visiting Santiam Christian to a 1-1 tie during their Senior Night game on Oct. 15 kept the 17th-ranked Creswell Lady Bulldogs soccer team second in league team standings – and maintained their ”no losses in league” standing for the season with a 2-0-4 record. League leader Santiam Christian is ranked 13th at 3-0-2 with one game remaining, against third-place Pleasant Hill (1-3-1).
The Eagles scored in the first half, and at halftime the Lady Dawgs discussed, ”playing with more intensity, going to every ball and connecting more passes,” Creswell Head Coach Janelle Sailer said.
In the second half, ”the girls played much better,” Sailer said. ”They started passing the ball, communicating better and having more scoring opportunities.”
At about the 65th minute, senior Allison Smathers received a pass, dribbled around a couple of defenders and sent what Sailer described as ”a beautiful shot” into the upper right-hand corner of the Eagles’ goal to tie the game.
During the game’s final 15 minutes, ”We were very dangerous and had many more opportunities but just couldn’t put it away,” preserving the stalemate, Sailer said.
Goalkeeper Tabetha Donovan made 12 saves for Creswell.
Immediately following the game, the Lady Dawgs honored seniors Smathers, Donovan, Hallie Drago, Hannah Bettis, Morgan Janshen, Aubrie Hatch, Kelsey Kuhnhausen and team manager Claire Gosslee with a Senior Night ceremony.
The families of the seniors joined them at the edge of the field, congratulating them with balloons, flowers and other gifts as the seniors’ letters of appreciation and favorite soccer memories were read aloud.
As league champion, Santiam Christian is guaranteed the league’s first seed to state. Pleasant Hill and La Pine are expected to compete in a league playoff game on Oct. 25. Creswell hosts the winner of that game on Saturday, Oct. 27, with the victor earning the league’s second state bid.