COOS BAY — The actual Oregon School Activities Association soccer season is still a few months away, but Marshfield and North Bend are working hard to prepare for that season in a series of games over the next several weeks.
After getting their feet wet with short scrimmages that also included Brookings-Harbor last week, the Pirates and Bulldogs played a full match Monday night, something they are scheduled to do another four times over the coming weeks.
“It’s an opportunity to get a connection, to bond for the spring,” said Marshfield’s Alberto Castillo after Monday’s match, a 6-1 win by the Pirates.
He added it’s a chance for the older members of the team to grow as leaders for the younger players.
Through the practice and the first few games, the Pirates have grown as a group, added teammate Austin Nielsen. They hope to continue that trend.
“We just want to get it together — to get chemistry,” Nielsen said.
One thing the Pirates have been able to do is play their style, especially Monday.
“We want to get control, to play at our pace,” Castillo said.
The Pirates used that pace to create opportunities in both halves of Monday’s match.
By the final horn, Rorberto Castillo and Jacob Eastwood each had scored a pair of goals for Marshfield. David Garica Flores and Julian Yanez Torres each converted penalty kicks and Torres also had a trio of assists.
North Bend’s goal came in the second half, courtesy of Kevin Garcia.
Though the score was not close Monday, the Bulldogs felt good about how they played, too.
“We played a lot better than last time,” said John Efraimson. “We’re communicating more, spreading out, working on passing the ball.”
Like the Pirates, the Bulldogs are happy to improve for the coming season, Efraimson said.
“It makes me really excited,” he said.
More than that, though, the players are just delighted to get an opportunity.
“It’s good to be able to do something,” Efraimson said. “Most people in the state don’t get to do anything right now.”