It’s hard to keep track of all the things going well for the Ridgeview girls soccer team.
Since losing their Intermountain Conference opener, the Ravens are on a seven-game league winning streak, outscoring their opponents 50-1 in the process. They were recently ranked third in Class 5A Academic All-State for their sport, with a 3.78 grade-point average. And coach Nic Sedor says he recently heard from an official that his team had the best sportsmanship the referee had ever seen.
“You put that together and what more could you want?” Sedor asked at a practice last week.
Making the success more impressive is that two of Ridgeview’s leading scorers have been freshmen — Selena Gallacher and Lily Gallentine.
Despite playing on the junior varsity team to start the season, Gallacher has been leading the Ravens in scoring, with 12 goals going into a string of three matches in five days. Sedor said Gallacher made a grand debut, scoring three goals in her first match.
“It was clear that she was not only ready for varsity, but to be a contributor,” he said.
The time with J.V. was valuable in helping Gallacher become a better leader and ball handler, she said.
“I was able to improve my skills, so I was able to come up and help my team out,” she said.
Gallacher, who has been playing since she was 7 and has a goal of playing soccer professionally, has high hopes for the Ravens as they enter the playoffs.
“Overall, the team is, actually, really good,” she said.
While No. 10 Ridgeview’s overall winning streak ended Oct. 26 in a nonconference match at Crescent Valley, the 1-0 margin against the defending Class 5A state champions and No. 1 team this season showed they can play with anyone.
Sedor said the Ravens had a couple “wake-up calls” earlier in the season, which they responded well to. First was an 8-1 loss at Class 6A Bend in their Aug. 29 season opener. After a victory against Mountain View, they dropped to 1-3 on the year with a pair of 2-1 losses against No. 3 Corvallis and their league opener against Hood River Valley.
Sedor told the players the importance of matching the high-pressure play Ridgeview saw from Hood River.
“I feel like it solidified in our minds, that’s what they did to us, now we’re going to do that to them,” Sedor said. “After that game, I saw that they understood it, and they were ready to accept that this is a physical game — you’re going to get kicked, you’re going to get pushed, you’re going to get elbowed.”
The Ravens haven’t lost a league match since that light bulb came on. The only IMC goal scored against them was in a 2-1 victory in an Oct. 17 rematch with Hood River
“We are progressing so quickly, and each game the girls are getting more confident that they can play skilled, high pressure soccer,” Sedor said.
Along with the freshmen, the Ravens have seen great play from senior Sadie Benz, a second-team all-league choice in 2018. Benz led the Ravens with three goals in a 5-0 Oct. 24 victory against third-place The Dalles.
“I think we have just grown so much as a team,” Benz said. “We’ve gotten so much closer, and we’re just helping each other out, and it’s helping us to some wins.”
The Ravens (7-1 IMC, 8-4 overall) wrap up the regular season Tuesday at Crook County, which Ridgeview defeated 14-0 Oct. 8, and at home Thursday against Pendleton, a team they beat 8-0 Oct. 10, before heading to the playoffs. After reaching the state quarterfinals in 2017, Ridgeview was knocked out in its first playoff game last season.
Benz is hoping for more success this season.
“I think we have a chance to get pretty far in it,” she said. “As long as we push ourselves in practice and continue to get better, we can get all the way to the finals.”
Sedor had the players sign a contract before the season in which they agreed to certain sportsmanship principles, like only captains can talk to the referee, unless the referee talks to the player first.
“From the beginning of the season, we told them that if you want to be part of the Ravens girls soccer program, these are the expectations,” Sedor said.
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