The Crook County Cowboys spotted the Hood River Valley Eagles five goals before finally getting on the board Tuesday afternoon in an Intermountain Conference soccer match.
"We created a lot of opportunities," said Crook County head coach Ramone Casteñada. "We just don't know how to take advantage of the opportunities. We have real trouble finishing."
After the Cowboys cut the Eagle lead to 5-3, the Eagles went on a late surge, finally downing the Cowboys 8-2.
Crook County had several chances to score early in the first half, however, were unable to find a way to put the ball in the net.
Hood River Valley broke through for their opening goal 10 minutes into the match as Jaden Dubon scored the first of his two goals. Midway through the half, the Eagles struck again, this time on a goal by Jonathan Garcia. Minutes later, Dubon scored again, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Crook County continued to get scoring opportunities, but each time either missed the goal, or Hood River Valley goalkeeper Zach Marble made the stop.
Late in the first half, the Eagles struck again. This time Robert Rowan leaped high in the air to head a corner kick into the goal.
That goal gave the Eagles a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Cowboys had a golden opportunity to score early in the second half when Kevin Sanchez was fouled inside the penalty box, but Marble made a beautiful stop on the Sanchez penalty kick.
Then, nine minutes into the second half, Hood River Valley struck again as Ivan Solano took a rebound off of Crook County goalkeeper Joseph Miller and put it into the back of the net. Four minutes later, Crook County finally got on the board when Kevin Arroyo was fouled inside the penalty box. Jesse Sanchez's penalty kick was good and the Cowboys were back in the contest, trailing 5-1.
Miller injured his leg a few minutes later, making a stop and was replaced in the goal by Cameron Carr.
Then, with 24:44 remaining in the contest, Kevin Arroyo pushed a ball past Marble, who charged out of the goal, then lightly tapped the ball into the open net to make the score 5-2.
"I feel like we can push the ball more now," Jesse Sanchez said. "Now that we can start scoring goals, we can push the ball even harder. In the past, all we would do is play defense, kick the ball up and have them try to score a goal again and then kick the ball up and repeat. We are trying to score goals now."
However, that was as close as the Cowboys would get.
Hood River Valley went on a late surge as Solano, Leo Urenda and Jose Magaña all scored late goals.
"We had our opportunities," Castañeda told his team following the match. "We had a lot of opportunities. All we can do now is focus on getting ready for our next match."
He added that Hood River Valley is probably the top team in the Intermountain Conference.
"Hood River Valley is a good team," Castañeda said. "We are creating. All we have to work on now is finishing."
With the win, Hood River Valley improved to 3-2-2 overall and 2-0 in league, while the Cowboys fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in the Intermountain Conference.
Crook County takes on Pendleton, 2-3-1, 0-2, on the road tonight in a 6 p.m. match.
The Cowboys return home on Tuesday, Oct. 8, when they host the Ridgeview Ravens, 4-1, 1-1, in a 4:30 p.m. match.
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