Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said his defending Northern 4A championship squad struggled throughout the match to judge the speed of play on Damonte’s artificial grass surface.
“We just couldn’t put anything together on their turf,” Moreland said. “We’re just not used to it, the speed. Our guys would pass the ball and it would run out of bounds because we kicked it too hard. We controlled a lot of the game, possession wise. They’d just kick it and run long, but it was successful for them, so more power to them.”
Damonte got on the scoreboard first after posting a goal just two minutes into the match. Spanish Springs pulled into a 1-1 deadlock when Julio Soto scored in the 17th minute. Alex Matute gave away the assist.
The 1-1 score stayed intact into halftime, but Damonte handled all of the scoring honors after the intermission. The host Mustangs got the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute and then added an insurance score in the 75th minute.
“We’re just not putting the ball together very well,” Moreland said. “We’re not combining well. We’re looking at a guy and trying to decide whether we want to give him the ball. Just give it to him because he’s open. We’ve got some issues we need to fix but it’s a long season. The potential is there to improve.”
Spanish Springs (5-2-1) will meet Hug Saturday at p.m. at home.
- GIRLS -
•At Stateline, Sparks walked away with a 1-1 tie against Whittell. It was just the second time all season the Railroaders (0-8-2 overall, 0-5-1 Sierra League) had avoided a loss.
Sparks took a 1-0 lead when junior forward Andrea Gumina scored in the 21st minute. Her SHS teammate Dalia Batista tallied the assist on a throw-in. The visiting SHS club led almost the whole way.
Whittell salvaged a draw when it scored in the 71st minute.
“We feel pretty good about the way we played,” Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. “We had much more energy and the colder weather helped. We didn’t run out of gas as fast as we usually do. But we did kind of run down at the end. That’s when we gave up the goal.
“Overall, we played pretty well together. We were missing some key players, including our center midfielder, Maria Sanchez, but we used some freshman and they played pretty well, did a good job.”
Miller said his goalkeeper Val Guerrero recorded nine saves and turned in one of the best performances of her high school career, turning away a handful of tough shots.