Pair of late goals doom Rangers
4A BOYS SOCCER
The Estacada boys soccer team pushed Gladstone to the brink before falling 4-2 in Monday's Tri-Valley Conference opener.
After falling behind 2-1 early in the second half, Estacada put immediate pressure on the goal in search of the equalizer. Niko Snyder used some clever footwork near the flag to earn a corner kick, which resulted in Raymond Garcia getting off a shot from the far side. His ball was deflected back out, but it came to Estacada's Carson Eaton, who hit a hopper off the ground that was headed for the top half only to have Gladstone goalie Nate Burlingame poke it over the cross bar.
Estacada's Tai Shibahara put a shot on target from 25 yards out off the second corner kick only to see Burlingame in position to make another save.
The Rangers kept the pressure on and earned a throw-in deep in Gladstone's end of the field. Garcia called for the ball, taking it at his chest and settling it before knocking a pass through the 18-yard box. The ball just missed the head of a teammate at the mouth of the goal and deflected out to Estacada's Bryan Reyes, who hammered a waist-high shot past the keeper to knot the score 2-2 with 26:43 left.
"I saw a little bit of an opening and thought I could curve it in if I hit it just right," Reyes said.
Five minutes later, Estacada almost notched the go-ahead goal when Garcia sent a ball through for Eaton, who hit a one-timer that sent Burlingame flying through the air. But the shot stayed wide of the mark.
Gladstone scored twice in the final 10 minutes, netting the winning goal when Dalton Crosley took a ball on the hop and planted it far post.
"Coach (Ryan Hardwick) moved me to right mid and told me to look for that power shot off my laces," Crosley said. "It always feels good to win and get those three points."
Teams earn three points for each league win — only one point per side if the game had finished in a tie.
Estacada's Eaton put the first goal on the scoreboard only to see Gladstone's Kevin Orozco-Arreola tie it up shortly before intermission.
"It was a really tight game, and I thought we played well," Estacada coach Jack Carroll said. "We had our chances and just didn't put them away, but it was a battle to the end."
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This story is slated for our Sept. 26, print edition.
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