In the Northern 4A crossover league clash, the Raiders scored three goals in the first 23 minutes and held on for dear life as the Grizzlies’ second-half comeback came up short in the 3-2 decision.
“They’re very strong. They’re traditionally a powerhouse. When you think of who wins northern Nevada soccer, it’s Galena, Reed and Douglas,” Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville said. “To be able to come up here on their home field and get up 3-0, really was great, unexpected but it was great.
“We knew they were going to battle back and fight hard after halftime. We had a tendency at 3-nil to kind of take it for granted. In the first 10 minutes (of the second half), they almost got the equalizer. We just had to settle down and make some adjustments, which the girls were able to execute.”
The Reed coaching staff knew Galena tends to play a little flat in the back, so the team used a lot of lateral movement with its forwards. The midfield played quick through balls to them, leading to about seven scoring opportunities in the early going.
The strategy paid off quickly. In the sixth minute, Katelyn Raatz put Reed on the board on an assist by Kennady Whitehead.
Next, Whitehead got into the scoring act, finding the back of the net in the 18th minute thanks to the first of two Aubrie Ciesynski assists.
Raatz made it 3-0 with her second goal as Ciesynski fed her the ball in the 23rd minute.
The score remained 3-0 until halftime, but Saville knew Galena would come out with a renewed vigor in an attempt to avoid an upset loss on Senior Day.
Three minutes into the second half, Brooke Cherry cut the deficit to 3-1.
Five minutes later, Maya Emme made it one-goal game. That’s when Saville sent Whitehead, who is a strong vocal leader, to the back to shore up the defense and the Raiders held on for the victory.
Reed (4-3-4) hosts Reno Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in a matchup that could end up deciding the High Desert League title.
“It’s one game at a time for us now. Every game is a playoff game,” Saville said. “We got this one under our belt and we’ve got to go get a big league win, hopefully Tuesday night at home against Reno. I think that may be the league decider right there. After this game, if they’re not amped Tuesday, then I don’t know why they’re playing soccer.”
Galena 4, Reed 2
Not about to suffer the same disappointment as their female counterparts, the Galena boys erupted for three goals in the second half and cruised to a two-goal victory over Reed.
Galena senior Brandon Welch scored the second and third goals for the home team and assisted on the first one to celebrate the Grizzlies’ Senior Day.
The Galena attack pushed hard and forced Reed’s defense to play on its heels.
The Grizz nearly got a goal 11 and a half minutes into the game, but Raiders defender Jairo Segura made a jumping kick save that prevented an empty-net goal.
However, Galena broke the scoreless tie 50 seconds later. Welch beat the last Reed defender and then dumped a centering pass into the middle of the box for Marc Bierderman, who was trailing the play and ripped a laser into the back of the net.
The Blue and Gold earned very few scoring chances in the first half, but caught Galena sleeping in the back with seven minutes left before the intermission.
Reed booted the ball up field and forward Dylan Valentine blew past the defense on the way to tracking down the high-bouncing ball. Valentine then popped up a shot over the Galena keeper, who had come off his line, and bounced his shot into goal for the equalizer. It was Valentine’s 58th goal in his career, tying what is considered to be the Reed school record.
The 1-1 score remained until halftime.
Seventeen minutes into the second half, Galena thought it had the go-ahead goal but a shot hit the underside of the crossbar and somehow managed to stay out of goal. Reed cleared the ball out of bounds to avert danger, but on the ensuing corner kick, Welch put the ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 edge.
In the 68th minute, Welch scored what proved to be the eventual game-winner when he received a long pass from a teammate. Welch sped past the defense down the right side of the field and took a point-blank shot through Reed goalkeeper Sean Lokken for the 3-1 lead.
With about three minutes left to play, Valentine breathed new life into his club when he stole the ball away from a defender in the back. He took a shot with his left foot inside the far post, cutting the deficit to 3-2 with his record-breaking goal.
GHS senior Francisco Arambula sealed the victory by ripping the back of the net on a shot with under two minutes to play.
“They just launched it over. We know better than that,” Reed boys soccer coach Jeff Valentine said. “We came out flat and lethargic. We got beat by a better team today. We beat them in that preseason tournament, and they had a little bit of revenge going.”
Reed falls to 4-6-1 and will face Reno Wednesday night at home.