After going undefeated in a preseason tournament without allowing a goal, the Raiders were looking for their first regular season victory under their new head coach in their home opener against Galena and looked poised to do it.
However, the Grizzlies erased a two-goal deficit and a one-goal advantage later on as the two teams settled for a 3-3 draw.
“The first half I felt we played nervous. We had the early lead and two quick goals right off the bat,” Martinez said. “The second half we came out a lot more confident. It was just a great play that they did. It was a nice cross, and our keeper couldn’t do anything about that.
“We got a tie out of it. We didn’t lose, and we’re still confident about our season. We just have to work on the mistakes that we make.”
The first 20 minutes of the game didn’t see much excitement, but when the floodgates opened, they opened big time.
In the 25th minute, Reed broke a scoreless tie on a somewhat lucky goal. Defender Jairo Segura wasn’t attempting a shot from just inside the midfield line, but his free kick bounced high enough that it got over the Galena goalkeeper and rolled into the back of the net for a 1-0 score.
Four and a half minutes later, Adrian Lopez received a long pass and used his left foot to chip a shot on the run over the Galena keeper, increasing the lead to 2-0.
But the Grizzlies kept battling. In the 32nd minute, Quinn Hoelzer found himself open in space with the ball in the box and deposited a shot into the back of the net, cutting the deficit in half, 2-1.
Four minutes later, Galena knotted the game at 2-2. After a turnover, Gabriel Alcaraz split three defenders with some impressive moves and beat the goalkeeper nearside.
The first-half scoring didn’t stop there.
With under two minutes remaining in the first half, Reed’s Gonzalo Arellano headed in a cross, giving the home team a 3-2 halftime lead.
Galena dominated most of the possession after the break and it led to the game-tying goal in the 58th minute. Alcaraz received a perfect cross and headed it in from right in front of the goal, tying the game at 3-3 with 22:35 remaining on the clock.
The Grizzlies couldn’t have had a better shot at grabbing their first lead of the game — with just over 11 minutes left. A Galena player nearly whiffed on a shot from outside the box and it turned into a perfect pass, but the ensuing shot drilled the crossbar and went out of play.
In the 74th minute, Reed earned its own opportunity at a go-ahead goal but a cross in front of an empty net couldn’t find a member of the Blue and Gold.
Then with under two minutes to play, Reed goalkeeper Josh Reyes had to make a last-ditch kick save and Arellano did the same on the goal line from his stopper position.
“Josh, with that last save he made, I think he was our MVP of the game,” Martinez said. “I think his improvement from the first day I saw him until now, is 100 percent. I’m really proud of him. I hope he continues that.”
Reed (0-0-1) heads to Douglas Wednesday.