Oregon senior Elise Boyd will jump at the chance to play soccer any time.
Despite a run of rain, snow and chilly weather, Boyd and the Oregon girls soccer team turned in a dominating performance in a 6-0 win over D.C. Everest in the season opener on Thursday, April 6, at Collins Field at the Anderson Sports Complex in Stoughton.
It may not have been how Boyd would have drawn up the location for her season opener as a senior, but the Cleveland State commit starred with two goals to power the Panthers to the victory. Oregon is 24-0-1 in the past 25 games dating back to last year’s unbeaten state championship season.
“I think especially with being inside all week and not at our home field this was really good for us and our confidence as a team,” Boyd said. “It also helps the underclassmen who maybe haven’t seen a lot of time to get some time on the field and practice with the bigger, stronger girls, adapt with us and be able to connect as a team. We still have some things to work on, but I think this was a great start for us as a team.”
Boyd has high expectations this season.
“My goal personally is to get another gold ball,” she said. “That’s really far in the future. I’m going to take it one game at a time. Another goal for me is to try to get as many awards as I can. I want to try to get first-team (all-conference) this year. I was second team last year. I want to have more goals and assists and prove myself before I go to college.”
Oregon senior Ashley Wolfe – an Illinois State commit – scored at 9 minutes, 13 seconds into the first half. The goal was set up by junior forward Katelyn Studebaker attacking from the right wing and sending a cross to Wolfe who punched it into the net.
Boyd scored her first goal at 17:37. Senior Aubree Caya then scored on a pass from Wolfe at 18:41 to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
“I think it was a good step forward,” Wolfe said. “It showed us that even though we lost a couple of players, our incoming freshmen and sophomores we added stepped up. I thought we played together well as a team and our communication was good.”
Five different players scored for Oregon. The Panthers outshot the Evergreens 12-2.
“We had an array of people scoring,” Wolfe said. “As long as we put the ball in the back of the net that is what our goal was coming into it.”
Maggie Langenohl scored on an assist by sophomore Addison Werth at 27:52 to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead at the half.
Oregon coach Bobby Nichols was happy with the start, but he knows the Panthers left a few goals on the field in the first half and have to work on maintaining spacing and perfect finishing.
“We have to make sure we put them away,” Nichols said. “Against other teams if you don’t finish early it comes back to haunt you later. I’m glad we scored our six. We should have probably had six in the first half that went right across the box and we didn’t get a touch on.”
There were several opportunities for goals on the back side of the net on a cross.
Nichols said spacing is a huge part of soccer and not being outside to work on it is a challenge.
“It’s all timing and some of them are used to playing with each other,” Nichols said. “We have some new spots for some people and we are young in the defensive end. It’s an adjustment period.”
Boyd scored her second goal on an assist by Werth at 42:37 to give the Panthers a 5-0 lead. Studebaker capped the scoring with a score to the far post at 65:48.
D.C. Everest played without two starters, including junior Jenna Baumann – a University of Wisconsin-commit who plays on the USA national team – who missed the game with a torn ACL. Baumann scored a team-high 41 goals en route to being named first-team all-state last year.
The Evergreens only had two opportunities inside the box against the Panthers and Oregon freshman goalkeeper Reese McCabe made two saves.