Fortunately for the Blue and Gold, the last-place Miners were just what the doctor ordered as the Raiders cruised to a 3-0 shutout.
“We played like we know how to play,” Reed coach Joel Martinez said. “We played touch-ball, controlled possession and put shots on goal. We’ve been working on shots from outside the 18 and our first two goals were from outside the 18 and our last goal was off a header. If we’re going to try to dribble through half of a defense, we’re never going to get a goal. So long shots is what worked out for us today.
“It was a much needed victory. We’ve been on a bad streak lately and this victory means a lot for our confidence. It means a lot for Friday. Friday is a rivalry game against Spanish Springs and I think this was an important victory as far as getting our confidence back together.”
Reed first took the lead in the 13th minute on a goal from Jairo Segura. After taking the 1-0 edge into the intermission, the Raiders came out in the second half and added to their lead on a goal by Anthony Chinchilla in the 47th minute. To cap off the win, Nick Stobernack headed home a goal in extra time, en route to the 3-0 victory.
Reed (2-4-1) will look to stay on the winning track as it hosts Spanish Springs on Friday at 7 p.m.
“We have to play with confidence and know that we’re not out of it in the back of our minds,” Martinez said. “The season is a month and a half away from being over, so as long as we keep the right attitude and we keep players off the injured list, I think we’ll be there at the end of the season. We’re still not out of it. The halfway point is Friday. We get that ‘W’ and we’re back in it.”
Across the Rail City, the Spanish Springs boys soccer team welcomed Damonte Ranch to its pitch looking to continued its hot streak, and the Purple and Silver did just that.
Asserting itself from the opening whistle, the Cougars scored early in the contest en route to a 3-1 victory.
“We talked a lot better and we were knocking the ball around a little better,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. “They’re starting to look for the little through balls a little sooner, so we’re working on that. I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet. It’s still to come, so that’s a good thing.”
The Cougars wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they pressured the visitors early on.
In the 4th minute Spanish Springs' Giovanni Aguila worked magic with his feet, dribbling between a pair of Mustang defenders before sidestepping the rushing Damonte goalie for an open net goal and a 1-0 Cougars' edge.
Leaving little time for the SSHS offense to cool off, the Cougs tallied another score in the ninth minute.
After a DRHS defender miscalculated and let the ball that was sent in deep by Spanish Springs' keeper Omar Trujillo bounce over him, Cougar Edwin Medina collected the leftovers before chipping the ball into an empty net for a 2-0 advantage. The lead held at two goals into the intermission.
The second half did not start as quickly for the Cougars as neither squad was able to produce much on offense. In the 47th minute the Mustangs managed a scoring chance as the ball bounced around the SSHS net, but with Trujillo out of goal, a well-positioned Emmanuel Medina defended a shot on goal and cleared it out of danger.
Spanish Springs extended its lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute when a loose ball bounced between a sprinting Aguila and the oncoming Damonte net-minder. As the two converged on the ball, they each slid with Aguila reaching the ball just before and sending it into the back of the net.
“They (Damonte) didn’t control the ball very well,” Moreland said. “They just tried to throw the ball over and through. We just had to drop back and cover each other, so it wasn’t that hard. On our goals, I thought their goalie made a big mistake, twice. He came out too early and left an open net and he did the same thing in the second half. If he would have stayed on his line, I thought it would have been a little tougher for us. Gio and Edwin did a good job of finishing those plays though because you still have to put them in.”
Damonte's Manuel Anguiano Villalobos netted a goal in the 67th minute to result in the 3-1 final.
Spanish Springs (6-2 High Desert League) will visit rival Reed on Friday at 7 p.m.