Boys soccer team breaklosing streak
The Greenwave varsity boys soccer team managed to break its losing streak with a tie 2-2 against Dayton on Saturday.
The Wave is currently 0-7-1 overall and in league play, while the Dust Devils are at 3-6-3 overall and 1-5-2 in league play.
With their next match at Truckee on Friday and a home match on Saturday against Lowry, Fallon coach Miguel Ordunas said he was pleased with the team’s performance as the players came together at long last.
“It was really good,” Ordunas said. “It was by far the best game we’ve played all season. We’re making good changes and progress. You know, this season is just about making sure we’re focusing on working together and just learning the game of soccer very well. And we’re getting there, you know.
“You have to be thinking about patience, and then things will start coming together. We have a lot of injuries, and a lot of people who are just very inexperienced with the way to play, but they pull it together.”
The Dust Devils had the first shot on goal in a fast-paced first half right from the start. The shot from the Dust Devil’s junior Salvador Martinez, was blocked nimbly by Wave senior captain Michael McCormack, who would have one of the best matches of his season.
Nearly halfway through, at 22:59 the Wave scored its first goal of the match thanks to a six man pile up at the net, finally able to get past the keeper in the confusion and be first on the board.
The scrap was surely welcomed after a series of losses by the Wave who could not score.
The Dust Devils were able to keep the ball in the Wave’s territory, though Wave junior Nick Kulick had the most charges of any player in the first and was always able to retrieve possession against Martinez, who would have two more attempts on goal in the first half alone.
Martinez wasn’t alone though. McCormack dove for a save against Dayton freshman Elisio Medina after his breakaway, not the last of his saves or the most impressive.
McCormack was able to take a break thanks to junior Stephen Benecke, who was a consistently aggressive defenseman with a particularly impressive slide takedown on Devils freshman Jacob Duran when Duran managed to storm up the left side of the post. McCormack would have yet another save against Dayton senior captain Jaime Avilla from the left, and another against Dayton sophomore Oscar Bueno who managed to keep the ball in Wave territory due to his speed at retrieval from Kulick.
The rest of the first half was an impressive bout of speed on both teams’ behalves, looking like the young Wave defense would be able to maintain their lead until Dayton junior captain Jorddy Diaz charged up the middle and scored Dayton’s first point of the match with only three minutes left in the half.
The first half ended at 1-1.
The second half was significantly slower than the first, not for a lack of maintained speed on either team’s behalf, but with a limited number of shots on goal from either team. This was in part thanks to the fancy footwork of Wave senior Pedro Barajas, consistently the best at maintaining control throughout the match but unable to break through the Dust Devils’ defense while being hounded by Dayton junior Jason Duran.
The Wave took turns fighting Martinez, who showed no signs of slowing down but was able to be kept from scoring for a while by Wave senior midfield Gonzalo Sanchez and junior Angel Cornejo, who was in strong for the second half.
A strong Wave defense would soon be rewarded when senior defender Dustin Hopkins managed to break away and keep control long enough to score after two attempts on goal, bringing the Wave to a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes left. While Fallon was briefly rallying, it was quick to see that their underclassmen defenders and junior and senior forwards alike were slowing down, which allowed the Dust Devils clot up at the goalpost and with eight minutes left, repeat the Wave’s goal from the first half and score with the help of confusion, bringing the score to a 2-2 tie.
“I was disappointed when we had the lead and then we fell asleep,” Ordunas said. “We had a little miscommunication, I know our defensive line just got really quiet, and that second goal was the result of it. Those are things we just take and learn from, like this is what happens when we don’t talk and that’s the result, so we make sure that the next game, we make sure we don’t make those same mistakes and we keep on going.”
Although the Wave had trouble picking up speed, fans hadn’t worried as much they might let another goal slip by until McCormack took a hard fall with only three minutes left in the half, seeming to be in pain and stepping out for a little over a minute to rest. Without their senior goalkeeper, however, the Wave underclassmen stepped up on defense and exhibited a particularly stronger passing game that allowed them to get the ball out to their forwards, less for breakaways and more for keeping it in the Devils’ territory.
Fortunately, the Wave’s defense would not have to be tested much further since McCormack took the post again with two minutes left, seemingly recovered with no serious damage to his ankle. However, without the same speed they had in the first half to make breakaways, the Wave settled for a 2-2 tie as the half ran out and the match was over.
“I’m sure there are more losses to be coming our way due to the fact that we’re going to be just playing some really tough teams,” Ordunas said. “But these kids are not going to give up any time soon and the coaches and myself, we’re not going to give up on them whatsoever. We’re always just going to keep pushing them to the very max, to their full potential.”