By Gini Davis
The Creswell Chronicle
The rebuilding Creswell Bulldogs found their teamwork “mojo” with two shutout victories last week.
Creswell downed visiting Glide, 3-0, on Oct. 3 and visiting Central Linn, 8-0, on Oct. 5.
“I think it’s just taken them awhile to really buy into the new system and learn to trust each other on the field,” said first-year boys’ head coach, Brandi Wittenborn, noting that the team has just one returning varsity starter.
Against Glide, Eddie Hernandez scored within the first 10 minutes, off an assist from Julian Nuñez. “We were doing some really good passing, and Julian went forward, sucked the defense in to him, then dropped it back to Eddie,” Wittenborn said.
Nuñez then scored, off an assist from Christian Tucker. “Christian took it down the right side and made an awesome cross – it was beautiful,” Wittenborn said. “And Julian, when he’s believing in his whole team, he’s so dangerous.”
Brian Clowers scored on a follow-up in the second half.
“We had so many other opportunities, but shots were going high or wide, hitting the crossbar, or were just unlucky,” Wittenborn said.
Goalkeeper Jaxson Wilkerson made 12 saves.
“It was a pretty tough game; Glide’s physical and they hustle the whole time – and at first, we were not going to the ball or making good passes,” Wittenborn said. “But then we picked everything up, and our defense was great: “Tristen (Ward) is always so strong, and Ben (Vaughn) twice in the first half just came out of nowhere and saved our bacon.”
Against Central Linn, Tucker scored within the first two minutes, off an assist from Grant Marshall, and the Dawgs quickly racked up five more – including Avel Garcia-Fetter’s first varsity hat trick.
Garcia-Fetter – Creswell’s leading scorer this season – first scored a solo goal; his second came off an assist from Nuñez; his third, near the end of the first half, was another solo.
“Avel has such a killer shot,” Wittenborn said.
Cam Nguyen scored off a deflection, and Tucker scored off an assist by Hernandez.
“We could’ve kept scoring, but from about 10 minutes to go in the first half I told them to just pass the ball around,” Wittenborn said. “In the second half, I switched players to different positions and nobody could score except about four people who hadn’t scored yet this season.”
In the second half, Kobe Sanders scored off a deflection, and Javier Fregoso scored off an assist from Ward.
Wilkerson made two first-half saves; Dawson Sharkey made three second-half saves.
“We did everything we’ve been working on in practice; it was beautiful – by far the best game we’ve played,” Wittenborn said. “Everybody was passing the ball, working it around, playing very unselfish. This is the team I knew we could be.”
In the previous week’s game at East Linn Christian, Garcia-Fetter scored off an assist from Hernandez and Nguyen scored off an assist from Rogelio Legorreta.
Hernandez scored off a deflection for Creswell’s only goal at Santiam Christian, and Wilkerson “had a lot of saves in both games,” Wittenborn said.