By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
June 28, 2006
Shade was at a premium this weekend during the Hood River Dynamos’ annual Gorge Challenge Soccer Tournament.
Club teams from across the state came to the Westside Elementary School fields for the two-day tournament to challenge each other for championship trophies in their respective divisions. As parents and spectators huddled under tents, umbrellas and slivers of shade during what was by far the hottest weekend of the year, the youngsters heated up the fields even more with great soccer action and sportsmanship.
From the Dynamos club, four teams placed in the top two, including the U14 Eagles, who defended their title as tournament champions over Milton-Freewater. Second-place finishes for the Dynamos went to the U11 Tsunami girls, the U12/13 Blue Cobra boys and the U13 Tempest girls.
The Hood River Eagles won their division handily. With a nearly impenetrable defense anchored by McKinley Kitts, Robert Wymore, Miguel Elizonda, Oliver Donnelly and keeper Ruben Rayo, the team allowed only five shots and one goal in four games. Midfielders Santiago Garcia, Vaughan Heppe, Sammy Chavez, and Senen Hernandez kept their opponents chasing the ball by winning about 80 percent of the contested balls on the field. The middies fed forwards Francisco Mendez, Jose Garcia, Ricardo Madrigal, and Joel Hernandez, who put together some impressive finishes to the tune of 15 goals by the end of the tournament.
The Tsunami girls opened the tournament with a tough 6-0 loss against the Tri-Mountain Avalanche. The girls rebounded in the second game and kept the score to within one goal for a 1-0 loss.
The newly formed U12 Blue Cobras are just starting to come together as a team. In their first tournament together, the boys lost a tough match against an older and more experienced U13 Manchester City squad. In what would be their only goal of the game, Jose Barrera nailed in a through ball from Erik Guttierez. The Cobras are working hard to improve their game for the next tournament of the summer.
The Hood River Tempest girls had two great battles with The Dalles Torpedoes. In their first match, Tempest won 1-0 when Aspen Braniff connected with a corner kick from Emily Thompson. In their second meeting, which was for first and second place, the Torpedoes tallied three goals. Brittani Tolentino, Thompson and Jessica Ribkoff scored for Hood River to tie the match 3-3 and force the game to be decided by penalty kicks. Jenny Gomez, Jaci Bryant and Thompson put in first-round penalty kicks, but the Torpedos prevailed in the second round to take the title.