Timberwolves put up a challenge in round two
6A BOYS SOCCER
The Tualatin Timberwolves suffered some near-misses down the stretch to spoil their upset bid in a 2-0 loss to No. 2-seed Reynolds in Wednesday's second round of the 6A boys soccer playoffs.
Reynolds turned the pressure coming out for the second half, earning three corner kicks in the opening minutes. The first attempt was tipped away by Tualatin goalie Ian Stuart, while a heavy wind caught the other two attempts and sent the ball off target behind the goal.
Reynolds would dial it in before the match was finished.
The Raiders got another chance when Sergio Tinoco made a run down the right side and fired a shot from the top of the box that took Stuart off his feet only to sail over the crossbar.
Reynolds kept coming, but the Timberwolves back line was up to the challenge with Cesar and Jose Jacintos each taking turns sliding down to steal balls before Raider attackers could threaten the goal. Teammate Cole Richmond stepped in front of Tinoco near the penalty dot to clear away another dangerous ball.
"We have a really good backline, and we've been able to win with that all season," Richmond said. "We came in wanting a close game. We wanted to keep it low scoring."
In fact, the game was scoreless midway through the second half.
Until Tinoco got on the move again, having the ball taken off his cleat late but earning a corner kick in the process.
Pedro Calderon had a few words with a teammate before stepping to the corner flag for the kick.
"He told me if I got to the first post he would give it to me," Rogelio Uribe Rodriguez said.
And that is how the corner played out with Rodriguez sprinting to the near post, going airborne and deflecting a header into the net for a 1-0 lead with 20:55 to play.
"In the second half it seemed that the ball kept bouncing their way, and they got that one unlucky header that we weren't able to defend," Richmond said.
But Tualatin wasn't ready to board the bus just yet.
The Timberwolves created a couple high-quality looks at an equalizer, but both were slightly off the mark.
Jose Jacintos had the first opportunity centered on the goal from 25 yards out and hitting a blast over the top of the outstretched keeper, but also just over the bar.
Tualatin's best chance came with 6:56 to play when Hunter Popma took a run at a high bouncer down the left side. He went into the air alongside Rodriguez, who applied just enough pressure for Popma's header to deflect wide of the far post.
The Timberwolves' final chance saw Reynolds goalie Jose Sanchez playing off the line, leaving a section of the net open for Cesar Jacintos, who tried a quick shot before the defense collapsed. The ball rolled wide of the near post with four minutes to play.
Reynolds put the game away on its next rush when Gerardo Mejia made a long run down the right side before sending a cross to the far post. Rodriguez was on the other end for a quick deflection only to have Stuart slide down to block the ball at the goal line. Tinoco rushed in to clean up the rebound to make the final 2-0.
"Being up 1-0 was too close, we needed another goal to finish it," Tinoco said.
"Hats off to Reynolds — they are an offensive machine. They link up really well," Tualatin coach Chris Duke said. "They have a good chance to see this thing all the way through, but we came out against the No. 2 seed and showed that we could play with anybody."
Tualatin had a chance to grab the lead 17 minutes into the match when Remus Repcak took a couple touches into the middle and let loose with a hard shot. Sanchez slid down to make the initial save, but the ball continued to spin toward the far post when Raiders' defender Angel Vides arrived to clear it from the mouth of the goal.
The Raiders' best chance of the first 40 came when Calderon, Mario Martinez Cruz and Rodriguez combined on a series of quick passes that moved the ball sideline to sideline. Rodriguez eventually struck a sidewinder shot out of mid air that Stuart secured off the hop.
Tualatin created a pair of chances late in the first half both stemming from Nathan Buckalew, who was taken down a step outside the 18-yard box. Rather than a slam-dunk penalty shot, Buckalow settled for a close-range free kick that careened into a wall of defenders and went over the top of the goal. Buckalew got another chance on the ensuing corner kick only to see his header spin over the crossbar.
"We had the wind at our backs in the first half, but we didn't turn it into a goal for us," Duke said.
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