Reynolds advances with pair of second-half strikes
6A BOYS SOCCER
Reynolds notched a pair of goals over the final 20 minutes to turn back a challenge from Tualatin 2-0 in the second round of the 6A boys soccer playoffs Wednesday night.
Playing into a steady headwind over the first 40 minutes, the No. 2-seed Raiders held their own keeping the ball low to the ground to match Tualatin shot-for-shot (five apiece).
Going the other direction in the second half, Reynolds turned the pressure up a notch, earning three corner kicks in the opening minutes. The first attempt was tipped away by Tualatin goalie Ian Stuart, while the wind caught the other two attempts and sent the ball off target behind the goal.
Reynolds would dial it in before the match was finished.
The Raiders got another chance when Sergio Tinoco made a run down the right side and fired a shot from the top of the box that took Stuart off his feet only to sail over the crossbar.
About five minutes later, Tinoco was on the move again, having the ball taken off his cleat late but earning a corner kick in the process.
Pedro Calderon had a few words with a teammate before stepping to the corner flag for the kick.
"He told me if I got to the first post he would give it to me," Rogelio Uribe Rodriguez said.
And that is how the corner played out with Rodriguez sprinting to the near post, going airborne and deflecting a header into the net for a 1-0 lead with 20:55 to play.
"I was happy and it got us all motivated," Rodriguez said. "It was a matter of wanting the ball more than the defenders."
But Tualatin wasn't ready to board the bus just yet.
The Timberwolves created a couple high-quality looks at an equalizer, but both were slightly off the mark.
Jose Jacintos had the first opportunity centered on the goal from 25 yards out and hitting a blast over the top of the outstretched keeper, but also just over the bar.
Tualatin's best chance came with 6:56 to play when Hunter Popma took a run at a high bouncer down the left side. He went into the air alongside Rodriguez, who applied just enough pressure for Popma's header to deflect wide of the far post.
The Timberwolves' final chance saw Reynolds goalie Jose Sanchez playing off the line, leaving a section of the net open for Cesar Jacintos, who tried a quick shot before the defense collapsed. The ball rolled wide of the near post with four minutes to play.
Reynolds put the game away on its next rush when Gerardo Mejia made a long run down the right side before sending a cross to the far post.
"We always practice getting down the line and finding somebody — that is probably my best skill," Mejia said.
Rodriguez was on the other end for a quick deflection only to have Stuart slide down to block the ball at the goal line. Tinoco rushed in to clean up the rebound to make the final 2-0.
"Being up 1-0 was too close, we needed another goal to finish it," Tinoco said. "I rushed in looking for a loose ball on the floor, and I was able to get up and win a header while the keeper was still down."
Reynolds (12-1-3) hosts Cleveland (13-1-2) in a quarterfinal match at 3 p.m. Saturday at Gresham High's Stapleton Field.
Tualatin had a chance to grab the lead 17 minutes into the match when Remus Repcak took a couple touches into the middle and let loose with a hard shot. Sanchez slid down to make the initial save, but the ball continued to spin toward the far post when Raiders' defender Angel Vides arrived to clear it from the mouth of the goal.
The Raiders' best chance of the first 40 came when Calderon, Mario Martinez Cruz and Rodriguez combined on a series of quick passes that moved the ball sideline to sideline. Rodriguez eventually struck a sidewinder shot out of mid air that Stuart secured off the hop.
Tualatin created a pair of chances late in the first half both stemming from Nathan Buckalew, who was taken down a step outside the 18-yard box. Rather than a slam-dunk penalty shot, Buckalow settled for a close-range free kick that careened into a wall of defenders and went over the top of the goal. Buckalew got another chance on the ensuing corner kick only to see his header spin over the crossbar.
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This story is slated for our Friday, Nov. 8, print edition.
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