Early challenges fades down the stretch
6A BOYS SOCCER
Mount Hood Conference
The Sandy boys soccer team had a couple chances to pull even with a Reynolds squad that has been ranked No. 1 in the state at several points in the season only to fall 5-0 by the final whistle Thursday night.
The teams took a scoreless game late into the first half when Reynolds' Eduardo Farfan sent a high ball toward the far post that sent Sandy goalie Josiah Rothwell flying through the air. Rothwell pulled back at the last moment and allowed the shot to go wide, earning the Pioneers a goal kick and giving the backline a chance to catch its breath.
Next up, the Raiders' Israel Zuriaga and Pedro Calderon combined on a give-and-go play that ended with Zuriaga sending a sharp-angled shot over the crossbar.
Sandy took a chance at the lead when Ryan Escareno got loose on a run deep into Reynolds territory, setting up an open look for teammate Miguel Perez, who had his shot deflected off-target by a Raiders' defender. The Pioneers put the ensuing corner kick in play, and Escareno deflected a header on frame, forcing Reynolds goalie Jose Sanchez to scoop the ball up off the hop.
Shortly before intermssion, Reynolds came up with a steal in the backfield setting up a 4-on-3 charge toward the goal. Gerardo Mejia passed the ball ahead to Sergio Tinoco, who put the ball into the net, but not before an offsides flag went up to keep the match tied at 0-0.
The Raiders broke through on their next rush when Zuriaga played a high ball to the far post, and Rogelio Rodriguez used his head to punch it into the net for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Reynolds put heavy pressure on Sandy's goal through the first 10 minutes of the second half, but was unable to add to their lead.
"We played too narrow in the first half, and Sandy had it's defense there waiting for us," Reynolds coach Allan Berry said. "Once we saw one go in, it opened things up and we started using our wings."
The missed chances looked as though they may be costly when Sandy's John Bolanos beat a white shirt in the midfield and sent the ball ahead for Carson Smith, who made a run down the left side only to have Reynolds defender Angel Vides slide in from the side and take the ball of his cleats.
A couple minutes later, Sandy's Miguel Perez took a touch past the last Reynolds defender and dribbled down the middle before punching a shot off the side of his foot that forced Sanchez to make a flying save.
Sandy's last chance to produce a point out of the league contest came in the 57th minute when Alexis Lopez stopped Reynolds striker Gerardo Mejia in his tracks and sent a quick blast across the midfield line and into the attacking zone. But the ball had a bit too much power, and Sanchez was quick off his line to collect the bouncing ball at the top of the 18-yard box just before a wave of black shirts arrived on the scene.
The Raiders doubled their lead to 2-0 midway through the second half when Rodriguez got loose in space 30 yards out and sent a laser into the top half.
A few minutes later, defender Zuriaga fed a ball ahead to Mejia and circled behind his teammate down the sideline. Mejia played the ball ahead to a streaking Zuriaga, who hit a sharp-angled shot that Rothwell deflected wide of the goal.
Reynolds scored on the ensuing corner kick to make it 3-0 after Vides redirected a header into the net.
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This story is slated for our Oct. 16, print edition.
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