Tuesday, May 3, 2011/lk
With the Eagles coming off a 17-2 demolition of Bend Saturday afternoon, they figured the winless Cleveland Warriors would not be much opposition for Hood River Valley Tuesday night.
The Eagles quickly found they would have to step up their game to ensure that wound up being the case, so step up they did.
HRV outscored Cleveland 11-1 in the second, including 10 consecutive goals, to beat the Warriors 18-4 at Henderson Stadium.
The game was not a blowout until midway through the second half. The Warriors were as close as 4-3 in the first half and trailed only 7-3 at the half.
The Eagle offense, though, could only be bottled up for so long once the three-headed monster of Eric Nance, Jesse Keopaseuth and Ryan Foster reared its head.
"We found our set," Nance said. "We are really working well together."
The trio combined to score 13 of HRV's 18 goals, with Nance and Keopaseuth scoring five each for HRV.
"Our attack unit is really working well," HRV coach Mac Jackson said.
Nance and Keopaseuth also dished out three assists each for HRV.
Miles Mayer also had a big game for the Eagles, scoring three goals, including the first of 10 straight the Eagles got from the 6:33 mark in the third quarter through the end of the game.
Andrew Thompson had the other two goals for HRV.
The Eagles led 8-4 after Carson Ralls scored for Cleveland 1:15 into the second half.
"That really ticked us off," Nance said.
From that point on it was all HRV.
Myer answered two minutes later to extend the lead to five. Then Keopaseuth, Nance and Mayer all scored within a minute and a half of each other to blow the game open and push what had been a one-goal margin at one point to eight and put the Cleveland defense completely on its heels.
"We were frustrated tonight by getting off to that slow start," Jackson said. "We didn't really get clicking until that third quarter."
The Cleveland defensive unit had done well to support goalkeeper Joseph Boyle - who also made several nice saves - in the first half, but as the HRV goal barrage intensified they became more disorganized and the Eagles capitalized again and again.
The HRV defense also acquitted itself well early, but didn't have much to do by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.
Goalie Malcolm McCurdy made two saves, including one just before the half, to keep HRV's lead at four at the half. Matthew Harris collected six ground balls for the defensive midfield and the Eagles won 13 face-offs.
The Eagles lost 20-5 at Lincoln Friday and now face three more road games, including a key battle at Wilson Tuesday that may determine who finished third in the league.
"I'd like to see us come out strong in each one of these games" Jackson said. "I'd like to see us improve on our performance from each from the first round."