Saturday afternoon at NVHS, the Raiders certainly tried to knock them off, but it just wasn’t enough as the Panthers improved to 8-0-1 with the 3-1 High Desert League win.
“I thought we played really well. That’s the best team in our bracket,” Reed boys soccer coach Jeff Valentine said. “We gave up one late goal just because we were pressing so much just to tie it up. That was one of our better games that we played. We made some changes today. We’re still tweaking some things and seeing what works best. Realistically, the 3-1 score is not what it should be. It should have been 1-1 at best.”
Reed was lucky to avoid giving up a goal in the first half. North Valleys had a handful of scoring opportunities as the Raiders’ defense looked porous at times. Several turnovers deep in the Reed defensive zone also led to shots on goal.
The best chance the Panthers had was midway through the first half as Reed goalkeeper Sean Lokken came off his line to make a save, but that left the net empty for a second chance. Defender Jairo Segura had to make a kick save at the last second to prevent a shot from crossing the goal line.
“That is our biggest problem right now,” Valentine said of the defense. “It was one of our strengths at the beginning of the season, but we had to move a couple guys around to try to be better on the attacking third. It’s weakening our defense. We just have to work on that.”
The Blue and Gold didn’t get as many chances to score in the first half, but the second half was a different story as the Raiders got to play with the wind.
Still, it took Reed to fall into a 2-0 deficit before its attack put a scare into North Valleys.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Brandon Perez snuck a low shot past Lokken with his left foot for the game’s first goal.
North Valleys went up 2-0 on a penalty kick by Alex Martinez in the 55th minute when a Panther player drew a foul in the box that Reed fans thought was a dive.
Three minutes later, the Raiders charged down the field and cut the deficit in half. Dylan Valentine sent a bouncing ball ahead and Gonzalo Arellano popped up a shot over the Panthers’ keeper for a 2-1 score with 22 minutes left in the game.
Reed didn’t give up. Less than a minute later, Valentine had a shot on goal, but his attempt went wide while on the run.
Two and a half minutes later, Ryan Butler watched his header go wide of the goal on a cross from Valentine.
With 14 minutes left, Reed got its last good scoring chance when Valentine tried to go top left corner, but the North Valleys goalkeeper made a jumping one-handed save.
The Raiders wasted a corner kick with 2:30 on the clock, hitting the side of the goal.
That’s when the Panthers pushed the ball up the field. With under two minutes remaining, Humberto Chavez took the ball half the length of the field. No one stopped him and he got off an open shot in the box, sneaking it inside the far post with his left foot.
Reed (4-5) hosts Spanish Springs Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
- Girls soccer -
Reed 4, North Valleys 2
Taylor Wiebke and Katelyn Raatz both found the back of the net twice as the Raiders rebounded from an 8-1 loss to Bishop Manogue Tuesday and rolled on the road Saturday.
“We played better in terms of finishing the opportunities we had. But the energy and enthusiasm still needs to be higher,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said. “We seem to go through the motions at times. They had some players missing and we had some players missing because of the SAT’s. We let them win a lot of 50-50 balls. The girls came out on fire, and that was because our captains had a talk with them at halftime about how we needed to put them away early in the second half.”
Wiebke got the Raiders on the board right out of the gates, scoring in the fourth minute off an assist by Kennady Whitehead.
North Valleys tied the game at 1-1 in the 28th minute thanks to a goal by Marissa Squire.
However, Reed (3-3-3) took the lead for good in the 31st minute. Aubrie Ciesynski sent a pass to Raatz, who deposited her shot into the goal for a 2-1 halftime lead.
Early in the second half, Laura Barrett assisted on a pair of goals to put the game away. Wiebke scored in the 42nd minute and Raatz added her second marker in the 53rd minute.
The Raiders let off the gas a little toward the end of the game and allowed North Valleys’ Dani Taylor to score from a tough angle off a corner set piece with six minutes left on the second-half clock.
Reed hosts cross-town rival Spanish Springs Tuesday at 7 p.m. North Valleys fell to 2-6-1 with the loss.