The Cougars welcomed cross-town rival Reed for the girls and boys soccer High Desert League clashes.
In the late game, it took less than two minutes for the boys to put up more offense than the girls.
Spanish Springs junior Julio Soto received a pass on the run from Alex Garcia and found the far corner of the goal with his left foot with 38:08 on the first-half clock, starting what turned into a 4-1 Cougar victory.
“I think we let down in the middle of the game. We started going back to our old ways. I don’t know if it’s fitness or just getting too comfortable,” SSHS boys soccer coach Rob Moreland said. “When you get three goals on a team, you start getting lazy. We came out strong again and scored an early goal. That’s key right there to set the standard.”
A two-minute span near the midway point of the first half yielded two more goals for the Cougars by Soto and senior captain Irvin Somera.
Alex Garcia crossed a ball in front of the goal for Soto, who one-timed it in for the easy goal in the 16th minute.
Two minutes later, Somera was flying down the middle of the field with the ball on a string. Somera had two teammates on the wings, but instead of passing off, Somera rifled a shot from the top of the box and into the back of the net for the 3-0 lead, less than 18 minutes into the game.
In the 30th minute, Reed’s speedy forward Dylan Valentine finally got the ball in space. He pushed the ball ahead and sped past the Cougars’ defense to track it down. As he was about to take a shot, he was tackled in the box, earning a penalty kick.
Christian Martinez took the PK and found the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 3-1 with under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
That’s how the score remained until the break.
Tension began to rise about 15 minutes into the second half with players getting a little more aggressive. That’s what led to the Cougars’ fourth goal.
In the 57th minute, Marshall Andrew found himself with the ball in the middle of the box after two players collided and fell down away from the play. Andrew made the most of his shot, giving the hosts a 4-1 advantage.
Reed played a man down for the final 17 minutes after Antonio Suarez received a red card and was sent off. However, the Raiders did not allow another goal. Still the Raiders coaching staff was displeased with some of the no-calls as the aggression levels increased.
“I think we played scared the first 15 minutes. We actually outplayed them the second 20 minutes of the first half,” Reed boys soccer coach Jeff Valentine said. “The second half was pretty even. They had one goal but could have gone either way. I’m going to have to throw in MMA training during our practice sessions because it’s getting out of hand.”
Spanish Springs (3-0-0 in Northern 4A) and Reed (2-2-0, 1-2-0 in Northern 4A) are both on the road Wednesday in league action. The Cougars take on McQueen at 3:30 p.m. while the Raiders have Reno at 6 p.m.
•The girls took the field first Friday and played some of the slowest soccer fans will probably see this season in the first half as the two teams played to a scoreless draw.
Spanish Springs had the ball on its offensive side of the field the majority of the first half and was the only team to have legitimate shots at goal, but it didn’t lead to any scores.
The two teams came out of the intermission still in a 0-0 deadlock, but it was Reed that came out firing on all cylinders. The Raiders earned several corner kick chances, but nothing came of those opportunities.
It wasn’t until 15 minutes into the second half that the Cougars began charging down the field to put pressure on Reed. Kiley Diesner nearly had a breakaway but her shot was kick-saved by the Reed goal keeper in the 54th minute.
With under seven minutes left, Diesner had another open shot on goal but directed it toward the keeper once again.
A minute later, the Raiders had a header on target, but Spanish Springs keeper Bailey Krutsinger used her height to corral the high shot. Both keepers recorded three saves in the shutouts.
“We were going to try to do something at the end, but either we lacked the stamina, or when you lose your best player to injury, it’s hard to make those adjustments,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said alluding to Kennady Whitehead’s late injury. “We have no bench and we have players getting injured. We didn’t deserve to get a tie. We deserved to lose. At the end of the day, we’re happy to get out of there with a tie. They came out with a little more intensity and charisma in the second half than we did. We keep feeling sorry for ourselves. If we keep doing that, we won’t be able to turn the corner.”
Spanish Springs girls soccer coach Mike Faker also felt his team should have come out on the winning end.
“They’re a young team, and I thought we dominated possession. We just had a hard time finishing,” Faker said. “It’s early in the season, and the offense is still developing. We really worked on defense at the beginning of the year. You’ve got to have defense in order to win games, so that was our priority.”
Spanish Springs (1-1-1) is back in action Tuesday at McQueen, while Reed (0-2-1) heads to Reno.