Photo by RJ Chavez
HRV boys soccer picked up its first win of the season on Thursday, Sept. 14, beating Franklin by a score of 1-0 in the Eagles’ home opener. Erik Pitones (pictured), a senior forward, was a huge factor in the Eagles’ potent offensive attack in Thursday’s matchup, with two shots at goal and a couple of accurate passes out of the corner set.
As of Friday, September 14, 2018
Back-to-back losses by scores of 0-2 was on the minds of the entire HRV boys soccer program ahead of what felt like a must-win situation in the Eagles’ home opener versus Franklin.
After suffering a 0-2 loss to Corvallis on Sept. 8, the Eagles welcomed Franklin to Hood River on Thursday, Sept. 18 for a matchup between the 0-2 Eagles and 2-2 Quakers.
Early on in this game, it was evident that the HRV boys not only wanted, but needed, to come away with a victory in their home opener to establish confidence moving forward.
From the opening whistle until the final whistle, the boys were the aggressors.
In the first half, HRV forced Franklin to play on the back bone of its defense for most of the time.
The Eagles had a handful of opportunities to score in the first half, including a chip shot outside the box from senior captain Robby Running that traveled only a couple inches above the top of the crossbar in the 25th minute.
Five minutes later, HRV was granted a corner kick following a defensive clearance by the Quakers defense.
Senior forward Erik Pitones, HRV’s main man for setting up corner opportunities, put a nice ball into the middle of the box that connected with Running’s head, but the ball would be hit straight up into the air and then eventually be cleared out by Franklin.
In the final 10 minutes before halftime, HRV earned a couple of good looks inside the box, but were unable to finish any of their opportunities at goal.
Although the Eagles’ offense was held scoreless in the first half, HRV was able to produce some great looks at goal and on the defensive side of the pitch, the Eagles were both pursuing the ball well and making the right passes up field to keep Franklin unsettled on the offensive end.
With a 0-0 score heading into halftime, it seemed that the Eagles’ first score of the season was coming sooner rather than later.
In first five minutes of the second half, a cross into the middle of the box found the head of freshman forward Jaden Dubon.
Dubon, who was flying in from outside the box, had some momentum when he made contact with the ball and that made for a quick header that the Franklin goalie had little time to react to, resulting in HRV’s first goal of season and giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, HRV threatened to score once again as Running located Pitones, who had some space at the top right of the box for a shot at goal, but Pitones’ shot sailed just inches over both the Franklin’s goalie finger tips and top of the crossbar.
In the 60th minute Franklin, in one of its few opportunities on the night, received a corner after a clearance by HRV.
The corner was sent to the back post, but like most of the game, HRV’s defense was on top of it as they kicked the ball out and reset the possession.
Unlike the first 60 minutes of this game, Franklin in the final 20 minutes were aggressive on the pitch.
A diving save by junior goalie Zach Marble in the 65th minute was one of many shots he’d see at goal in the closing minutes.
Between the 74th and 76th minute, Franklin received three corners in a row, but HRV’s defense held up and secured the Eagles’ first win of the 2018-19 season by a final score of 1-0 over Franklin.
The victory over Franklin moves HRV to 1-2 ahead of its next matchup at La Salle Prep on Monday, Sept. 17.