North Salem players celebrate a goal in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Silverton. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)
North Salem players celebrate a goal in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Silverton. (Photo by Jeremy McDonald)

SALEM – No. 5 North Salem extended its winning streak to six by beating No. 6 Silverton 3-1 in a 5A Mid-Willamette Conference soccer match Tuesday night.

The host Vikings (7-1-2, 5-0) broke a scoreless tie with two goals in the first five minutes of the second half and handed the Foxes (5-1-4, 2-1-2) their first defeat of the season. The win comes five days after North Salem beat No. 8 Woodburn by the identical score.

The Vikings are tied for first place with No. 4 Corvallis (6-3-1, 5-0), which downed South Albany 2-0 on Tuesday night.

“It’s huge man. It’s what we’re working on,” North Salem senior Noah Jacobo said. “We want to take the league and we want to make it to state.”

North Salem took a 1-0 lead on an own goal in the 41st minute and made it 2-0 four minutes later on a goal by junior Alex Lupian.

Silverton junior Carlos Flores cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal in the 49th minute, but the Foxes were unable to draw even, and Jacobo added the Vikings' third goal late in the game.

It was North Salem's first win over the Foxes since the Vikings moved from the 6A Greater Valley Conference to 5A in 2018. Silverton defeated North Salem 4-2 in 2018 and 3-2 in 2019, reaching the state quarterfinals in both seasons. The teams did not meet in the spring season.

Silverton coach Marty Limbird credited North Salem for being opportunistic.

“They got the best of us,” Limbird said. “We made a couple of mistakes; they capitalized and scored a couple of goals. Two of their three goals were errors on our part that they then took advantage of and made sure they got it in the back of the net.”

North Salem has outscored its opponents 24-3 during its winning streak. The Vikings have not lost since a 2-1 defeat to 6A Southridge in the season opener. Their ties came against South Salem and McKay, teams from the 6A Mountain Valley Conference.

“We have a great team. We believe in each other. We’re all brothers,” Jacobo said. “We’re here for each other, we’re working for each other, and that’s what is going to get us there. We've just got to keep trusting the process, trusting coach, trusting each other, and hopefully we’ll get there.”

North Salem made the 6A quarterfinals in 2017 and the 5A quarterfinals in 2019.