Saturday, October 11, 2014
Matching muscle with muscle, Hood River Valley High School varsity girls soccer team kept its cool and outplayed a very physical Hermiston lineup Tuesday afternoon in a 2-0 home win at Westside School. The shutout didn’t come easily for the Eagles, who took a beating by the Bulldogs, but overcoming the physical challenge and ending with a win will help build key momentum as the Eagles look footing in league action after a rocky 1-3-4 pre-season outcome.
“I thought the team played with composure, consistency, and high intensity,” Coach Kevin Haspela said of the game. “The Hermiston team always brings a physical and high intensity game and I thought we matched it.”
HRV scored once in each half, and as important as the goals were, so was the defensive effort that kept Hermiston at bay.
“They played a quick transition game, forgoing the midfield and attempting to pass a long ball through our back line,” Haspela said. “When Hermiston came at us with that run-and-gun approach, we stayed true to our strategy, which is to possess and move the ball as a team. I was impressed by the team’s ability to keep focused on our game.”
Offensively, HRV’s goals came from senior forward Collete Zack and junior middie Sindy Magana. In the first half a Hermiston foul yielded a free-kick from about 30 yards out. Zack hit a well-placed chip shot over the head of Hermiston’s goalie to find the back of the net. After battling head-to-head for much of the second half, Magana scored off a solo run up the center of the field, beating two pursuing defenders and finessing the ball into the lower corner of the goal. Magana also gets credit for igniting HRV enthusiasm just before halftime by making contact with a bicycle kick in scoring territory.
Vanessa Silva earned the shutout in the goal, where she performed particularly well with her long kicks that kept the ball out of HRV territory and distributed it up the wings to create upfield opportunities.
The win puts the Eagles at 3-4-3 overall, but more importantly at 2-0 in the CRC. The Dalles, who defeated Hermistion 1-0 and Pendleton 6-2 (6-3-1 overall) sits atop conference standings with a 5A No. 14 ranking vs. HRV’s 5A No. 18 ranking. HRV and The Dalles will face off for the first of two meetings this season on Tuesday (Oct. 14) at The Dalles and will play again at HRV Oct. 28 for their last CRC game of the season.
“Moving forward, we will continue to improve our mental game and trust that if we do the little things right consistently and play together as a team, we will be able to keep winning,” Haspela said. “Tuesday’s game against The Dalles should be very exciting.”
Although the Hood River Valley High School varsity boys soccer team is focusing on one game at a time, unless Hermiston, The Dalles or Pendleton can come up with a huge upset in the next few weeks, the HRV boys will finish the regular season and head into the playoffs as the top-ranked and only undefeated 5A team in the state.
The Eagles took one big step closer to that result Tuesday in a road game against Hermiston – the Columbia River Conference’s No. 2 team with a 5A No. 5 ranking. After a scoreless first half – and an adjustment period for playing on Hermiston’s turf field — HRV broke loose in the second and hammered the Bulldogs relentlessly to finish with a five-goal scoring spree for the blowout win. At 10-0, the win puts HRV squarely atop the 5A rankings, with Summit, Wilsonville, Mountain View and Hermiston rounding out the top five, in that order.
Tuesday goals were scored by Andreas Baeza (2 goals), Gio Magana, Noe Magana and Jaime Frias with assists by Gio Magana, Fidel Quintana, Frias and Noe Magana. Goalie Marco Cuevas had five saves in the goal for the shutout.
The Eagles return home on Tuesday to host The Dalles (4 p.m. Westside) in the first of two clashes the CRC rivals will have this season. After an away game Thursday, HRV hosts Hermiston the following Wednesday (Oct. 22) in its senior night game at 6 p.m. at HRVHS’s Henderson Community Stadium.
In a playoff qualification model new this season, eight teams automatically qualify for the 16-team 5A championship bracket – the top CRC and Intermountain teams and the top two teams from the Mid-Willamette, Midwestern and Northwest Oregon conferences – and 16 teams will qualify for play-in games (from CRC, No. 2 and No. 3 teams).