Hood River Valley High School’s boys varsity soccer team took the win against Pendleton High School at home 2-0 Tuesday night. This pushes their winning streak to three games.
From kickoff the Eagle squad started off strong offensively putting pressure on the Buckaroos’ defense. Eagles dominated possession throughout the first half at about 80-20 percent.
Jaime Rivera, head coach for the Eagles, said during practice they talked about starting the game strong.
“We talked about the importance of giving things meaning and that’s usually what you’re going to get out of them. We had to approach today’s game like it was a playoff game,” said Rivera. “We talked about getting the excitement up and sort of balancing that with having a good time, but also knowing that it’s a serious date for us.”
HRV’s offense worked up the field through the flanks. If no open route was clear they would kick it back to the keeper, move the ball around an attack from a different angle.
“Anytime our fullbacks get the ball wide we’re able to play the ball up the field and on the sides. That’s a good,” said Rivera. “Those things manifest themselves because we move the ball well and we do it with speed and pace and we make the simple pass. We were able to slow down the game a little bit and regain our focus. Today we did a good job on that.”
Around the 10th minute PHS’ goalkeeper fumbled the ball, multiple Bucks tried clearing the it but defender Crixtian Valdez managed to put the ball in the back of the net.
The Eagles continued this same strategy throughout the match but had to chip away through the Buckaroos’ defense. Alex Erazo, head coach for PHS, said their defense has always been one of their strong suits the entire season and performed well in the match.
“We’ve had a very good defensive line and goalkeeper all season and they defiantly stepped up this game and it was a very good performance from them. Super proud of them,” said Erazo. “Name shout outs to Gabe Rodriguez, Mike Rodriguez, John Lopez, Tyler Browning and Andrew Wolotira.”
PHS’ tough defense held off HRV’s offense throughout the game up until the last minutes of regulation. Eagle forward Fabian Magaña scored the final goal of the game.
HRV’s next game is on Halloween at The Dalles. Rivera acknowledged the difficulty they may encounter and the significance of the match but said for right now, they’d enjoy Tuesday’s win.