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The Vikings deal the Crimson Tide their first conference defeat since joining the Pacific Conference in 2018.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Abraham Alvarez dribbles the ball during the Vikings' game with Glencoe Tuesday night, Oct. 12, at Hare Field in Hillsboro. Alvarez scored two goals in the game.It's not often that you get to do something for the first time, or in this case the first time something's ever been done. The Forest Grove boys soccer team did that Tuesday night, Oct. 12, defeating the Glencoe Crimson Tide 2-0 and becoming the first Pacific Conference team to beat the Tide since they joined the conference in the 2018-19 season.

"The team played solid," Forest Grove assistant coach Rene Lopez said while speaking for head coach Gracey Mosquera. "I think they understood what the game required. There was a lot of intensity and a lot of passion coming into the game, but the boys understood how to channel that into performing the duties they needed to do on the field, and I'm proud of them."

Vikings senior midfielder Abraham Alvarez scored both of Forest Grove's goals, and afterwards spoke to the magnitude of the win – for various reasons.

"We talked before the game about how big this was, especially since we haven't been playing so great lately," Alvarez said. "We've had a rivalry with these guys for the past four years. We lost to them my freshman year and we tied them the last two times, so I think it's really great that we got this win."

Glencoe head coach Tom Stephens was obviously disappointed with the loss, but was complimentary of both his team and their opponent in defeat.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Glencoe junior midfielder Danny Hernandez fights-off a Forest Grove defender during the Crimson Tide's game against the Vikings Tuesday night, Oct. 12, at Hare Field in Hillsboro."It's hard because our guys don't really know what it's like to lose in this conference, but it's a donnybrook every time with Forest Grove," Stephens said. "They're a great team, well-coached, and these two teams know each other. But tomorrow will come and I couldn't be more proud of how my guys fought until the end."

It was a fight for much of the first half. The two teams mostly felt each other out in the midfield with the exception of a legitimate shot from each team near the 20-minute mark, but the Vikes (6-4-1, 2-1) struck first when Alvarez took a cross off the chest deep in the 18-yard box, then finished the second touch to put Forest Grove ahead 1-0 32 minutes into the first half.

Glencoe (8-1-2, 1-1-1) had their best first-half opportunity four minutes later when junior Miguel Lopez raced Forest Grove keeper Jose Bazan Olvera to a loose ball, and after a collision, the ball rolled helplessly towards the Vikings goal before a Forest Grove defenseman was able to clear it before Lopez could put it in the net.

Stephens wanted a foul call on Bazan, but the referees saw it differently, much like Alvarez' second goal which the Glencoe coach thought was set up by a handball during a melee in the box 18 minutes into the second half.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Forest Grove's Bryan Rodriguez and Glencoe's Ivan Alfaro fight for a loose ball during the two teams' game Tuesday night, Oct. 12, at Hare Field in Hillsboro."I'm not sure what happened on that thing, but it sure looked like a handball," Stephens said. "But those things happen and it's not easy to see, so credit to Forest Grove. They played well."

The Tide had their chances. Ruben Tapia-Rodriguez just missed wide with a cracker from the top of the 18-yard box early in the second half, Lopez missed just high on a free kick from roughly 30 yards in the 71st minute, and Christian Martinez-Tapia too had a close look late in the game, but none would find their desired destination – and that's sometimes just soccer.

"We missed some opportunities and they capitalized on a couple, but they created those chances," Stephens said. "That's the game."

And a good game it was for Forest Grove, who now hopes to use the momentum from this win to continue their ascension up the league standings and towards the state playoffs.

"There's definitely been improvement," assistant coach Lopez said. "There's been ups and downs and like any high school team we've had to deal with injuries, but the team seems to be bouncing back and I think this will help us get back on track."


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