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Aldo Avila nets two hat-tricks as Molalla boys soccer sees path to claiming the league title next week

The Molalla boys soccer team snagged a 3-1 win at Gladstone Tuesday night, pushing their league and overall record to 2-1-2.

Coach Ryan Gates called it a "back and forth affair" in the first half that was finally broken by an Aldo Avila goal "after a nice cut from the outside into the middle of the field for a shot."

COURTESY PHOTO: OLIVIA EHLERINGER - The Molalla boys soccer team picked up an important win Tuesday night at Gladstone.

Gladstone would tie the score a few minutes later when they won the ball in Molalla's defensive third and created a counter-attack that resulted in the score.

"The second half was played a majority of the time in Gladstone's half," Gates said. "We were able to get multiple shots off, but we were not able to score until the halfway mark of the half when Evan Hugo played Aldo behind the defense for his second of the day."

Molalla continued to pressure Gladstone and the pressure paid off as with about 10 minutes to go, Avila took a pass from Alex Mendoza on the left side of the field, cut in from the outside and with a swing of the foot, completed his hat trick for the day.

Molalla 4, Gladstone 1

In the return match Thursday, Molalla was able to put a 4-1 stamp on the Gladiators. "In the first half it was a continuation of Tuesday's game with a lot of high pressure from us and we were able to turn the ball over in their half of the field," Gates said.

Avila scored the first goal of the match on a through ball from Antuan Peterson in the fourth minue. Avila would get his brace at the halfway mark of the first half on a set-up from Hugo.

In all, Molalla rained down 13 shots on goal to none for the Gladiators in the first half.

"The second half was much the same," Gates said.

Hugo got into the scoring column on a deft touch long ball from Alex Mendoza. Avila completed his second hat trick against the Gladiators a few minutes later.

Gladstone tallied late of a free kick and "hit a great goal in the upper corner of the goal," Gates said. "Next week, if we win both our games, we will be league champions."

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