As of Friday, October 2, 2015
In high school sports, disparity in talent and mismatches in skill levels between teams happens frequently enough, resulting in lopsided contests where it becomes clear fairly quickly which club is superior.
Then you have what the HRV boys soccer team did to Pendleton Wednesday afternoon.
After a 0-0 draw with LaSalle in Hood River last week, the Eagles traveled to Pendleton and took out their frustration on the Buckaroos, walloping them in a 10-0 blowout for the teams’ first Columbia River Conference game of the season. It was HRV’s sixth shutout this fall.
In a season where HRV has been averaging two goals a game and hasn’t scored more than four in any one contest, Tuesday’s 10-goal eruption was highly unusual — so unusual that HRV head coach Jaime Rivera said he couldn’t recall the team ever hitting double digits since he took over the boys soccer program six years ago.
“Never have we scored 10 goals, and that wasn’t important; it just kind of happened,” Rivera explained. “It was an overmatched team. Our team was hungry from not scoring goals the other day, so it was not going to be a nice day for (Pendleton).”
As he has done in almost every game this season, striker Andrés Baeza got HRV off the ground with one of his signature simple, right-place-right-time goals in the sixth minute, and the Eagles never looked back. By the second goal, Rivera knew the game was HRV’s to lose.
“After those first two goals — tactically, we knew it was going to be up to us to not allow them in the game,” he said.
And they didn’t allow Pendleton to do much of anything. Senior keeper Marcos Cuevas essentially just had to stand in net for the first half, and then asked Rivera if he could give up his spot to sophomore keeper Travis Running for the second half. Rivera agreed, and like Cuevas, Running’s workload was light in the second half, with Rivera estimating that both goalies had about one save a pop on their way to earning clean sheets.
Also taking a seat in the second half were the rest of HRV’s starters, who had built a comfortable 5-0 lead. The Eagles’ bench proved exceptionally deep, duplicating the starters’ efforts with five goals of their own in the second.
“I took out all my main guys and put in subs. We tried to take the sportsmanship route. The (Pendleton) coach was super cool after (the game),” Rivera noted.
Six different players for HRV scored, but nobody was having a better night than senior Mario Sandoval, who, in his first game of eligibility this season, scored a hat trick and racked up two assists to boot. Other scorers included Diego Ortiz (2), Joel Garcia (2), Domingo Barragan (1), Jorge Campos (1), and Baeza (1). Noe Magaña led the team in assists, with three.
On Tuesday, the Eagles will host their first CRC game of the season, playing the Hermiston Bulldogs at Westside Elementary at 4 p.m. HRV, now 7-0-2 and still 5A’s top-ranked team, will face off with a Hermiston that boasts an equally impressive record (7-1-1) and 5A ranking (No. 4). Hermiston played The Dalles this week and beat the Riverhawks 3-1.