By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
October 7, 2006
It was a week of contrasts for the Hood River Valley boys’ soccer team. On Tuesday they played in pouring rain, while on Thursday they played in clear skies and warm weather.
On Tuesday they did not have their best effort but escaped with a win over a feisty David Douglas squad, while on Thursday they thoroughly dominated an overmatched Reynolds team.
Playing without their starting goalkeeper and one of their team captains, the boys’ soccer team faced a tough test from a David Douglas team looking to stop a two-game losing streak on Tuesday.
However, Adrian Villa put any thoughts of an upset to rest with a pair of first half goals to lead Hood River to a scrappy 3-1 win.
Goalkeeper David Castro, called up from the JV team earlier in the week following an injury to Nathan Ponce, allowed only one goal in his first varsity game and the Eagle defense picked up the slack to keep the Royal Scots from getting consistent attacks.
“David Castro came in and played just fine,” Coach Doug Beveridge said.
The Eagles put constant pressure on David Douglas, often forcing them to turn the ball over before they could set up an effective offense.
“We didn’t play very well today, but we’ve been working on pressure defense for the last week and that was the difference,” Beveridge said.
Villa broke a scoreless tie in the in the 25th minute with blast by the David Douglas goalkeeper, and then provided a repeat performance four minutes later when he took a pass from Moe Bruckman, crossed up a defender and buried a shot in the left side of the net.
“Coach said we need to pressure them until we get the ball,” Villa said of the Eagles’ constant pressure on their opponents.
Down two goals, the Royal Scots picked up the intensity and refused to go down without a fight. They cut the gap to 2-1 with a goal in the 48th minute on a rebound that was kicked past Castro as a he lay on the ground after diving to stop the first attempt.
David Douglas tried to push the Eagles after that, but never had another reasonable chance to score.
However the Eagles kept up the pressure and had several chances to add to their lead, including three players with chances for shots in the goal box in the 65th minute who were either forced out of position or who slipped on the wet grass.
The Eagles did not put the game out of reach until the 75th minute when Diego Diaz converted a penalty kick after a David Douglas was called for a hand ball in the goal box.
“That’s the mark of a good team” Beveridge said. “That even when you don’t play well you still win,”
On Thursday, with Castro once again in goal, the team blasted its way past Reynolds 5-1.
However, the margin of victory could have been much wider if not for a few missed opportunities and the Reynolds goalkeeper Josue Correas stopping a pair of penalty kicks.
Hood River took an early lead when Nestor Barrera found the goal in the first few minutes.
After Correas stopped penalty kicks from Adrian Villa and Raul Marquez in a span of 10 minutes, the pair teamed up to give the Eagles a two-goal margin in the 27th minute when Marquez received a pass from Villa and punched it past Correas.
Ten minutes later Diego Diaz added another goal when he rifled in a shot from 5 yards out into the near corner.
Despite having very little momentum and having most of the match played on their side of the pitch Reynolds was able to sneak in a goal just before halftime when the ball rolled past a diving Castro and into the goal.
The Eagles stopped any thoughts of a comeback when they again dominated possession of the ball out of the gate in the second half. Jesus Delgado increased the Hood River lead to three goals when Adrian Villa made a long run up the sideline and then passed to a streaking Delgado who booted into the goal for a 4-1 lead.
The Eagles had several more chances to increase the lead in the second half, controlling the ball nearly 90 percent of the time and constantly pressuring Reynolds.
“We’ve been working on our pressure defense,” Beveridge said. “That’s what starts our offense.”
Every chance for the Eagles late in the second half seemed to miss wide or high until the 79th minute when Barrera found the goal again for the final 5-1 margin.
“We pressured a lot today,” Barrera said afterwards. “I think we are ready for what’s next.”
What’s next for the Eagles is a three game road trip to Barlow, Centennial and Gresham before they return home to face fellow undefeated Central Catholic on Oct. 19.