White Buffalos boys soccer beats Cougars in close physical game to remain unbeaten.

JAYSON SMITH FOR THE PIONEER - Melchor Olivera controls the ball during Madras' 4-3 win over Mountain View. The Buffs have an away game against Summit Sept. 11.
The Madras boys soccer program won a very important game against Mountain View Sept, 4. The Buffs beat the Cougars 4-3 in a physical, high-energy game, with the wind roaring.

Playing with the intensity of a playoff game, both teams tested each other; both teams fought, scrapped, pushed and did not back down from each other.

"We knew Mountain View was going to come in here and play a physical game," head coach Clark Jones said. "What they lacked in skill, they made up for in effort and physicality. We were in a game where a team knew how to use their body, move around and do some things."

The 6A Mountain View squad used physicality to try and bully the Buffalos, but Madras showed their toughness and resilience, coming away with another win.

"It is better to play a game like this now, than when we are in league," said Jones. "The amount of physical play that was shown here, reminded me of playoff-type games, where you get teams playing with a lot of intensity."

The Cougars struck first and scored early. In the first two minutes of the game, Aidan Bornfleth, of Mountain View, put the ball in the net, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

Halfway through the first half, Madras dribbled the ball up the sideline and passed it to the middle of the field to Alex Diaz. Diaz controlled the ball and passed it to an open Andres Acuna, who buried the ball in the top right corner of the goal.

Madras tied the game 1-1, but would score again quickly. Diaz went down the sideline, finding Acuna in front of the net. Diaz passed the ball on a line drive to Acuna, who kicked the ball out of mid-air for the second goal of the game.

As soon as Madras took a 2-1 lead, Mountain View coach Donnie Emerson pulled his goalie and put in another player to protect the net.

The White Buffalos controlled the ball the majority of the first half, with several close shots either blocked or bouncing off the goal post.

"Wind plays a factor on different teams," said Jones. "We have a team where our attackers are wicked fast and have the ability to outrun everyone. Acuna has pretty good speed, but also has the ability to use his body and push people out of the way."

"We knew what we needed to do in the wind," he said. "I didn't have to tell my captains what side we wanted to start; they already knew. We started going into the wind, allowing the wind to be at our backs in the second half."

"If you have flat passes on the field, the wind doesn't matter and that is something we are good at," he said. "We are pretty confident we can play good in any condition."

A few minutes into the second half, senior captain Melchor Olivera was fouled, giving the Buffalos a free kick, 33 yards out.

Acuna was the one to attempt the free kick and delivered a picture perfect goal. Acuna curved the ball to the bottom left corner of the goal, past a confused Mountain View goalie. The Buffs took a 3-1 lead with around 30 minutes left to play.

Even though Mountain View was having trouble getting clean shots off on the White Buffalo defense, they took advantage of every opportunity that that they had.

Mountain View captain Isaac Villanueva scored on a corner kick, cutting down the White Buffalo lead to 3-2.JAYSON SMITH FOR THE PIONEER - Juan Mata, of Madras, dribbles down the field, looking for teammates. The White Buffalos are 3-0 this season.

The Cougars took advantage of another open kick, this time a penalty kick. The Mountain View player kicked the ball low, past diving goalie Byron Patt for another score.

The game was tied 3-3, with around 10 minutes left in the contest.

Both the Buffs and Cougars were fighting for every ball, trying to come up with a victory. More Madras goal attempts bounced off goal posts and went through the goalie's legs, as they were waiting for a shot to go in.

Olivera was fouled with around five minutes left in the game, giving him a penalty kick. The ref placed the ball on the line, 12 feet away from the goal. Olivera very calmly took a soft, low kick to the bottom right corner of the net for a goal.

The goalie was frozen in the middle of the goal, not even attempting to block Olivera's shot. The Buffs took a 4-3 lead with little time left. Madras played conservatively, as the refs blew the whistle announcing the game had ended.

"We jumped up in two classifications (6A) for this game; this school is quite a bit bigger," Jones said.

"We were fortunate to score more goals than them at the end; it was a little tight," he said. "It was a decent game. We had a couple mental errors and things we need to work on as we go through the rest of the season."

"We are still fighting lack of time on the field," he said. "When you miss seven preseason practices due to air quality, it is hard to get the touches you need — just not getting the experience on a big field. You overestimate the things you can do and when that happens, bad things happen."

The White Buffalos and the Cougars combined for four yellow cards in the second half.

With their 4-3 win, the Buffs now move to 3-0 overall this season.

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