Hood River Valley hosted and shutout West Albany High School 3-0 Wednesday in round one playoff action at Henderson Community Stadium.
The boys continue in the post-season, traveling to Ashland Nov. 9.
Jaime Rivera, HRV’s head coach, said the team knew it was going to be an emotional game and tough match.
“We know we were ready, soccer-wise. We’ve had some really good practices,” said Rivera. “The energy has been really good in training and we knew we had to come out here and have that balance of energy and a cool and calm head.”
The match kicked off with even pressure from both teams. The Eagles would attack, possession would switch and the Bulldogs would attack right back.
“They were a good team. They were on us. They really scared us that first half. They had us in some really difficult situations,” said Rivera.
“They were getting around our full backs and making those crosses in. A lot of times, they were catching us with not many defenders back and that was kind of concerning.”
Holes in their defense give the team something to work on during practice, said Rivera. They plan on improving their defensive line and making it harder for teams to counter attack, he said.
Eagle forward Ivan Solano got the team on the board by taking advantage of a Bulldog weak pass on the 13th minute. After this goal, the Bulldogs managed to keep the ball out of their net for the rest of the half.
Forward Fabian Magaña scored seven minutes into the second half and again three minutes later.
“There’s a reason why he’s the most valuable player. That kid’s electric,” said Rivera. “You don’t even need to give him room. He’ll beat three, four guys.”
With Tuesday’s win, Rivera said he’s confident the team will go far in the playoffs.
“I’m really excited that the community rallies around us when we get to this level,” said Rivera.
“Everyone’s busy during the regular season, but it’s nice to have that community support into the playoffs.”