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Spartans snap losing skid

Hillsboro boys break a 220-minute scoreless drought with a four-goal effort against crosstown rival Glencoe


Hillsboro got the one it needed on Tuesday.

Hosting city rival Glencoe in a Pacific Conference boys soccer game, the Spartans finally got their offense untracked, scoring two goals in each half en route to a 4-0 victory at Hillsboro High School that snapped a four-match losing skid.

“I find it to be really important,” Hilhi senior Tyler Hoiem said about the win. “It just breaks that losing streak we’ve had and also it was against a rival. Games in the future, it’s going to be fuel to the fire, pumping us up, getting us ready for next games.”by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Hillsboro's Tyler Hoiem goes up for a header against Glencoe's Efren Placito (6) and Alix Reohr (15) during Tuesday's conference soccer match.

The contest was a rematch of a Sept. 17 nonconference game, and it was a bit tighter than the first affair, when Hilhi breezed to a 6-0 win along the way to a perfect 5-0 start to the season. But beginning with a 1-0 loss to Grant on Sept. 26, the Spartans then dropped four in a row, including setbacks to Century and Tualatin to open league play.

“It has been a tough stretch,” Hilhi coach Tim Ellsworth admitted. “I was a little worried about tonight because Glencoe, coming back off the game we played on the first round, a team always plays you better the second time.

“They came in, they played much better tonight than they played the first night, but once we got the goal, we kind of settled in and played better soccer, I thought, for the rest of the night.”

Miguel Tena got Hilhi (5-4-0 overall, 1-2-0 Pacific) on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute. His deflected shot found its way past Crimson Tide goalkeeper Alex Estrada, breaking the squad’s scoreless streak that had stretched longer than 220 minutes over a five-game span.

Rene Carmolinga doubled the lead three minutes later, scoring an easy tap-in after Alex Estrada dropped Tyler Hoiem’s cross from the right side of the field.

The Spartans had a couple more prime opportunities in the later stages of the first half, but Ridge Calotis and Hoeim sent shots over the crossbar, and Estrada saved Hoiem’s free kick from about 30 yards out inside the final two minutes.

The Tide (2-7-1, 0-2-1) did not seriously threaten the home side’s goal often, but they did have a couple of solid chances to get back into the match on successive corner kicks in the 52nd minute. Spartans goalkeeper Phoenix Baltrus came up big on the first one, pushing the ball out of play. On the second, the ball rattled around the Hilhi penalty box for a few moments, but eventually Hoiem drove the ball out of danger.

“I thought we were pretty solid defensively,” Baltrus noted. “I didn’t really see a lot of shots today. That’s the best kind of goalkeeping, is when you have to make the least amount of dives.”

A few minutes after Hoiem helped preserve the shutout with that clearance, he finished on a similar play on the opposite end of the field. On the second of two corner kicks, the ball lingered in the penalty area, and Hoiem drilled a shot from 6 yards to put the Spartans up 3-0 in the 62 minute.

Alex Waggoner completed the scoring in the 71st minute with a tap-in. After Tena tracked down a nice through ball from the midfield and drew Estrada and a couple of Tide defenders, the ball found its way to Waggoner, who completed the easy finish from a couple of yards out.

As for Glencoe, the outcome left the team still looking for its first conference victory. Coach Tom Stephens did note that his team had four starters on the field who were not available for the first game between the two teams and that his squad’s play was improved.

“Our guys played hard until the end, and I’m really happy about that,” Stephens said. “We’re just trying to find ourselves still. This is one of those weird years where we’re not able to find our identity.”

The Tide has its next chance at that initial league victory on Monday, when the team hosts Forest Grove in a 4:30 p.m. match at Hare Field, and Hilhi looks to continue climbing the conference ladder when it travels to reigning conference co-champion McMinnville for a 7:15 p.m. matchup.

“Our goal now is just to focus on that next match,” Ellsworth said. “If we do that, then I think things fall in place and we can still achieve getting to the top four (in the conference), which gives us a bye out of the play-ins.”



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