After coming off a dominant 8-1 season opener victory over Sisters, Sept. 3, the Madras boys soccer team was faced with adversity against the Crook County Cowboys Sept. 6.
Madras traveled to Crook County in their second game of the season and in the past, the Buffalos have beaten the Cowboys fairly easily, but with a new coach in Prineville and a good game plan, Crook County was up 2-1 over the Buffalos at halftime. Javier Sedano was the only Buffalo to score in the first half.
Ramon Castaneda took over as head coach for Crook County. Castaneda has strong ties to Madras, coaching Madras soccer athletes of all ages in tournaments all over the region, with the Madras teams usually at the top of the podium.
"The first half, we had some communication problems on defense," head coach Clark Jones said. "One of the Crook County goals was on a deflection, but we weren't playing to our strength, which is speed. The team was kind of waiting for things to happen. We missed a lot of opportunities in the first half."
"Ramon is somebody that I really respect," he said. "He put together a game plan that was effective and we had to get past his game plan, and thank goodness we had enough subs to do that."
The second half was a different story and with a few adjustments, the Buffs quickly showed the talent and strengths of this year's team. Madras scored five goals in the second half, beating Crook County 6-2.
"In the second half, Omar (Diaz) shifted some people around, brought some new kids in and after we did that, Omar scored the equalizer and a minute later, Franklin (Pineda) scored the go-ahead goal. Once we scored that goal, then I think we knew we were going to win. The last three goals were a lot prettier than our first three goals."
"We started playing to our strength, which is speed, and passed the ball around a lot better," he said. "The team pressured a lot better and we just started to run away with it."
After the goals by Diaz and Pineda, three more Buffalos were able to score for Madras. Tyriek Rodriguez, Jesus Alonzo and Luis Benitez scored the last three goals. Six different players scored six goals for Madras.
"We put one of our freshman in and he pretty much changed the game," Jones said. "That player was Parks Tolton and he was in the game for at least the last two goals, if not the last three goals. He is a defensive midfielder who is pretty experienced in the game. He lives near Washington Family Ranch (Antelope)."
"In the spring, they told me some kids are coming from that area to play for me," he said. "You don't expect kids from that remote of an area to be that talented. He made a huge difference."
The game ended early due to a lightning storm in the Prineville area and the Buffalos moved to 2-0 after their 6-2 victory over the Cowboys. Crook County dropped to 0-1.
"We have preseason games for a reason, so we can look at different combinations, trying to find out what is working," Jones said. "Things weren't working early and I think we just came in way overconfident. Crook County had three good players who could really play."
The White Buffalos have a home game against Mazama at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.
"Mazama was a playoff team last year," Jones said. "They are like any other 4A team, they go through cycles."
"I don't know if they peaked last year and are starting to build again, but we can't take anyone lightly," he said. "We will have one of our players back with us, so that will make a huge difference."
The Madras boys soccer team hosted the Sisters Outlaws Sept. 3, showcasing their scoring ability, beating the Outlaws 8-1.
Early in the game, junior Manny Flores took a deep shot for the Buffs. The shot flew toward the goal, hitting the bottom of the top cross bar and bouncing into the net for the first score of the game.
Around the 29-minute mark in the first half, senior captain Tyriek Rodriguez took a corner kick for Madras. His kick floated and curved right in front of the Sisters' goal. Sprinting to the ball, Flores, kicked the ball out of mid-air with speed and accuracy.
The ball flew into the net with ease, scoring the Buffs' and Flores' second goal of the game.
Only a few minutes later, Rodriguez showed his leg strength by taking another long shot for Madras. The shot headed toward the upper part of the goal, but the Sister goalie was able to get his fingertips on the ball, but Rodriguez's shot was too powerful, as the ball was slightly blocked but slowly bounced past the goaline, giving Madras an early 3-0 lead.
Halfway through the first half, a lead pass from Ethan Tapia to Israel Estrada led to a shot on goal. The open kick soared to the top left corner of the net, past the goalie, for another score.
Madras' speed and uptempo style was too much for the Outlaws early in the game. With a comfortable first-half lead, the Buffs put in some subs, trying out some different rotations. The White Buffalos were held scoreless the rest of the half and Madras went into the break with a 4-0 lead.
The second half started and at around the 36-minute mark, the Buffalos were able to score once again. Senior captain Franklin Pineda was able to get through the Outlaws' defense taking a low kick that found the back of the net.
Madras was able to get several shots on goal during the next 10 minutes, but shots were a bit off target. At the 24-minute mark, Omar Diaz made a great pass to Pineda in front of the goal. Pineda's shot flew by the Sisters goalie and Madras took a 6-0 lead.
A few plays later, Pineda showed off his passing skills, setting up teammate Jesus Alonzo for an open shot. Alonzo took advantage of his opening, shooting the ball with precision to the bottom right of the goal for another White Buffalo goal.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Outlaws were finally able to find an opening in the White Buffalo defense. Sisters scrambled for a shot in front of the goal and was able to score its first goal of the season.
Madras responded quickly with a goal of its own. Pineda took a hard shot on goal, but it was blocked with two hands by the Sisters goalie. Juan Mata ran to the blocked ball, out-hustling everyone for an open shot on net.
Mata scored the last goal of the game and the Buffs showed their strength early, beating Sisters 8-1 in their opening game.
"The team was pretty solid," Pineda said. "Our defense did a good job and the game was good. We performed well in a lot of different aspects.We just played a good game. Having a lead allows players to take breaks and it makes other teammates play. That allows them to show their skills, which gives them good opportunities."
"The team needs to work on some better communication and passing, but apart from that, things looked good," he said.
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