Titans clinch spot in NWAC playoffs

Last minute goal secures Lane second place in the Southern Region standings

Shane Williams
Titans sophomore defender Kyla Granchan Romero, applies pressure to Chemeketa Storm player, leading to a Titan victory 2-1 on Oct. 25.

As the sun set over Eugene, another sun set for Lane’s two sophomores, who were introduced in their last regular season home game for the Titans. Sophomores Calysta Susu Mago and Kyla Ganchan Romero played their last regular season home game Wednesday Oct. 25th.

“There is a lot of responsibility that falls onto us, but they have made it really easy for us,” Mago said on the difficulties of playing with a young team.

The Titans started with the ball. On their first possession, they were able to cross the ball into the goalie box only to be saved by Chemeketa’s goal-keeper.

Both teams were passing the ball well in the early minutes. Lane was caught offsides twice within the first eight minutes, so they had to curb their aggressiveness. Freshman midfielder, Gwyn Anderson got the Titans on the scoreboard first with a header from a corner kick. Danielle VanOrd recorded her seventh assist of the season on the play. That goal prompted Chemeketa to make the first substitution of the game, sending in another defender to their back line. That didn’t seem to stop the Titans as they continued to get shots at the goal because of their pinpoint passing and communication.

A scramble in front of Lane’s goal helped Chemeketa even the score at 1-1. Chemeketa’s forward Kaisha Davis-Caberto scored her eighth goal of the year. Shortly after the halftime whistle blew, and the teams headed to their benches to prepare for a tightly contested second half.

“It needs to be better. That was the probably the worst 45 minutes we played all year,” Lane head coach Erica Mertz said on what she told her team at halftime after allowing Chemeketa to get back into the game.

In the initial minutes of the second half, an aggressive attacking front kept the Storm defense on its toes. Lane’s VanOrd had a chance to regain the lead but the ball sailed wide and hit the post. Freshman Callie Lambert almost pulled off the illustrious bicycle kick, unfortunately she missed to give Chemeketa a goal kick.

Lane’s aggressiveness came back to sting them after VanOrd was given a yellow card and gave Chemeketa a free kick just outside of the box. Chemeketa missed and Lane had a chance to counterattack. Titan midfielder Alia Donley raced out in front of Chemeketa’s back line, but her attempt at goal soared wide. Chemeketa received a yellow card in the 80th minute, the third disciplinary card issued in the game. With their position in the standings being threatened, Lane midfielder Mariana Rodriguez fired a shot. The crowd erupted as she placed the ball in the top right corner, out of reach of the Chemeketa keeper to give Lane the lead in the 87th minute. Chemeketa then went all out attack trying to even the score, but three minutes wasn’t enough as the Titans reigned victorious to lock up second place in the NorthWest Athletic Conference South Region.

Lower Columbia secured the third spot in the Western Region standings and played Lane in Eugene on Nov. 1st. Lane came out victorious scoring three goals and holding Lower Columbia to only one.

Shane Williams
Titans freshman forward Danielle VanOrd dribbles through the Storm defenders, as Titans clear the Storm with a 2-1 victory on Oct. 25.