The Purple and Silver hosted Galena in the opening match of the postseason as the High Desert's No. 2 team just outlasted the Grizzlies. A goal in the 37th minute proved to be the difference for the Cougars. They survived, 1-0, against the Sierra League's third-seeded Grizzlies.
Almost all the way through a defensive-dominated first half, the scoreboard was unblemished from the start of the game. A pass from Spanish Springs' Edwin Medina to Giovanni Aguila quickly changed that.
Breaking through the Galena defense, Medina worked his way into the box from the right sideline. As Grizzlies converged on Medina, he sent a pass the width of the net to an open Aguila, who put the ball home for the game's lone goal.
“We’ve been working on that, just getting them wide and banging it across, then crashing the goal,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said of the goal. “That’s what we’ve been working on, so I’m glad it worked out… We’ve been working on it and it hasn’t been working out the last five games. The next games like Wooster and Hug, they like to stay in the middle. So if we can get them wide and bang it across, then it’s hard to keep up with people. I’m glad it finally has worked out.
“I think there was a little more trust today to pass the ball to each other, maybe a little bit overboard. There were times we had the ball and could have taken it so there were too many passes sometimes. They go from one extreme to the other. We’re going to work on it again Tuesday and hopefully come out against Wooster and execute.”
From that point in the game, Spanish Springs (13-6-2) fended off the visitors’ comeback efforts. The Grizzlies put shot after shot on net, but SSHS goalkeeper Omar Truijillo turned them away repeatedly. In the 59th minute Trujillo stopped a shot right on the goal line to maintain the shutout. Trujillo got some help from the left goal post in the 70th minute as a Galena (9-9-3) bullet ricocheted out of harm's way before the netminder stopped a pair of chances in the closing minutes of the contest.
“Unbelievable,” Moreland said of Trujillo’s play in net. “He’s our main man. He’s only a junior too, which is great because we’re going to need him. He’s solid.”
The victory sets up a match for the Cougars with Wooster, the No. 1 seed from the Sierra League, which took a 4-1 win over Reno Monday night. The match is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday at Damonte Ranch High School.