Madras takes the Tri-Valley League opener 2-0 over Estacada

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacadas Tristan Thom tries to clear the ball out of the Rangers defensive zone during Thursdays loss to Madras.The Estacada boys’ soccer team opened Tri-Valley Conference play by hosting Madras on Thursday, and it was no secret that it was a battle of league foes who didn’t like each other very much. It was an intense, physical setting throughout the match. The two squads were chippie with one another and the officials, and a few squabbles had to be broken up. The heated atmosphere benefitted the White Buffaloes in the end as they left with a 2-0 victory.

While the teams were on an even playing field, Estacada played even with Madras, much to the surprise of the White Buffaloes and their fans. The match remained scoreless for 60 minutes, but the Rangers suffered a huge blow.

Mid-way through the second half, a scuffle involving multiple players broke out and a player for each team received a yellow card. Anthony Cauich Tuz was the Estacada player to get tagged with the yellow card, but it was his second of the game, so he was disqualified for the remainder of the contest. For the last 20 minutes, the Rangers had to play with just 10 players.

Madras saw its one-man advantage and capitalized. Minutes after Cauich Tuz’s disqualification, Madras’ Bryan Renteria took a pass from Oved Felix and deflected it into the net to snap the shutout. With eight minutes left, the White Buffaloes buried Estacada with a second goal.

“Our guys scrapped and fought, I was proud of them,” Estacada coach Johnnie Workman said. “They had one more guy, so you can only hold on for so long. It just wears on you.”

Estacada’s defense came up with some clutch plays against Madras’ attack to keep the match close. More than once, the White Buffaloes booted the ball past the keeper, only to have an Estacada defender swoop in to knock it away.

The Rangers’ offensive execution wasn’t up to the same level as that of the defense. They failed to generate many opportunities to score, and they were unable to convert when they did get those few chances.

“When we have the opportunities, we need to stay composed,” Workman said. “I think we sometimes panic and think we need to do something fast. If we learn to relax and realize we have more time, we will be fine.”

The schedule only got tougher for Estacada as it hosted North Marion, who Workman believes is the favorite to win the conference title, on Tuesday. The Rangers travel to take on last season’s league champion, Molalla, on Thursday. With as tough as the road gets, Estacada is encouraged by the performance against Madras.

“Madras was way better than anyone we played in preseason,” Workman said. “If we would’ve played that well in the preseason, we would have been winning five or six to nothing.”

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