Reed (4-4) strengthened its hold on the fourth and final playoff spot in the HDL with the tight mid-week victory.
“I would not characterize that as a beautiful win,” Reed coach Jeff Valentine said. “It was an ugly win, but we’ll take it. We did move the ball better, but we should have put a few more in the back of the net. I’m not sure we had more chances, but we need to shoot more.”
The Northern 4A crossover league match saw the two teams battle through a lackluster scoreless first half. But Reed got the upper hand seven minutes into the second half. Tanner Paris, a senior midfielder for the Raiders, used his head to knock the ball into the back of the net off a cross from Ryan Butler in the 47th minute.
“There was a cross before, off a corner. It went right over two heads and then I got a head on it and put it in,” Paris said. “It’s my second goal like that, but this is my first one that made a difference for the win.”
That was all the scoring fans would see in the close contest.
While Manogue (0-6-2) tried to make a few counter attacks, the Reed defense, anchored by senior goalkeeper Sean Lokken, pitched a shutout at its hosts from Reno’s private Catholic school. Lokken finished with six saves while holding the Miners without a goal.
“Our defense did well,” Paris said. “We possessed the ball more than in our previous games. We came in confident, expecting to win. We didn’t play all the way up to our potential, but we got a win and that’s what counts.”
Reed nearly tacked on an insurance goal with just over three minutes remaining in the match. The Manogue goalkeeper tried to corral a loose ball, but could not smother it. The ball bounced away, but with an open net, Reed did not have a player close enough to fire in a goal. Manogue cleared the ball out of bounds and away before the RHS crew could add a late score.
Reed returns to the soccer pitch Saturday for an HDL affair at league-leading North Valleys. First kick is set for 1 p.m.
“Every win is huge,” Valentine said. “We talk to the kids about that, which is what makes it frustrating some times. We’re still trying to find that consistent intensity.”