News staff writer
October 21, 2006
The Hood River Valley boys’ soccer team began its rematch with the Central Catholic Rams with the sun’s rays shining through a patch in the clouds and a ray of hope that they could catch Central Catholic for the Mount Hood league title. The game ended with a wall of dark clouds blocking out the sun and a wall of Central Catholic defenders blocking off Hood Rivers hopes in a 3-1 Central Catholi’c win to clinch the Mount Hood regular season title.
Coming into the game the Eagles needed to win against Central Catholic and then beat Sandy in their final game of the season to have any hope of running down the Rams.
By the end of the game, all the tiebreaker scenarios were moot and the Eagles were locked in the No. 2 seed.
The Eagles struggled to get much going on offense, and while the Rams did not get many chances either, they were able to take advantage of the ones they had.
Peter Futake got free and rifled in a shot in the 28th to put the Rams up 1-0 and that would prove to be all that they would need.
Whenever the Eagles were able to separate themselves from the Central Catholic defense they were unable to create a good shot, or found defenders closing in on them.
In the 36th minute Jesus Delgado received a pass and cleared the Ram defense to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Seconds later, a Central Catholic defender ran him down and knocked the ball away.
“Things just didn’t bounce our way today,” Hood River Valley Coach Doug Beveridge said after the game.
After halftime the Eagles added an insurance goal when Troy Batten skipped a crossing shot past a diving Nathan Ponce for a 2-0 lead.
Hood River had several chances to score late in the game but could not convert any of them.
In the 64th minute a Central Catholic defender headed away a high curling shot into the box and then one minute later a Hood River forward put a shot wide right.
Their last best chance to score came in the 79th minute off a corner kick, but keeper Ben Summer snagged it to snuff out any hope of a Hood River rally.
After the game, Hood River coach Doug Beveridge was disappointed to not get the win, but was not too down considering that Hood River has clinched no worse than second seed for the state playoffs. That spot gives them a first-round home game against the No.3 team in the Pacific League, which will likely be either Tigard or Forest Grove.
“We played a very good game against a very good team,” Beveridge said. “I don’t feel nearly as bad as I thought I would feel.”
Central Catholic coach Steve Ancheta said his team came in knowing that a win or a tie would clinch them the conference title and were prepared to play to clinch it.
“We came in here really focused,” Ancheta said. “We were ready to come in and play a good team.”
The Eagles will have one final tuneup before heading to the playoffs when they play the winless Sandy Pioneers next Tuesday at Henderson Stadium. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.