Spanish Springs (9-2) posted a pair of bookend goals in the conference clash, sandwiching nearly 70 minutes of scoreless, even play.
Cougars senior Julio Soto broke the scoreless tie with the first goal of the match, 10 minutes after the opening kick. Marshall Andrews provided the assist.
"I thought we did OK, but there's definitely still room for improvement," Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. "Our passing was good into the corners. That's what we've been working on, but we need more shots.
"We are working on getting our outside backs involved. We're trying to spread people out and create gaps. Then we want to look for those gaps and attack. We're trying to get the kids to understand if we move, we can get the defense to move."
The two teams proceeded to play possession soccer for nearly the remainder of the match, trading shots and getting turned away by each other's defense. Spanish Springs almost added an insurance goal with four minutes remaining in the match. Soto got a 1-on-1 opportunity with the Galena goalkeeper, but the Grizz defender made a stellar sprawled out save on the run to deflect away Soto's shot.
Veteran Galena coach Marco Merlo was frustrated in defeat. The 14th-year GHS skipper felt the game was played pretty evenly but that the hosts did a better job capitalizing on opportunities than his Grizzlies (5-5-1).
"It was pretty even, but we're not finishing," Merlo said. "We have good ball movement. We're struggling to finish. We're not getting that finished product. We're going through it right now.
"They're pretty good. I'd put Spanish Springs and Wooster at the top of the league. And then there's four or five of us right below them."
In stoppage time, Spanish Springs did tack on an insurance goal. Soto sent a short crossing pass in front of the Galena net and Gabriel Vasquez buried it in the net for the local school's second goal of the conference clash.
Spanish Springs is in action again when it hosts Reno -- which handed the Cougars one of their two losses this fall -- Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
The Spanish Springs girls are on a roll as well. The Cougars handed Galena a 3-1 defeat, also in a crossover league match, and improved to 9-1-1 in conference clashes.
"I felt good about this one," Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said. "It was a huge step. Our division, the High Desert League, has had such a huge problem with the Sierra League, it's nice to get wins over Galena, Douglas and Damonte. Our only loss is to Manogue, in a game I thought we kind of let get away in the last few minutes. We've worked our way past that and now we're finishing up games for sure."
Spanish Springs scored first when Kylie Diesner put up a goal 19 minutes into the match. Audrey Barham gave away the assist. The 1-0 margin stayed intact into halftime.
Neither team scored through the first 20 minutes of the second half, but then the match saw a mini scoring spree as the league foes combined for three goals in a 12-minute span.
Galena tied the match with a goal at the 65-minute mark. However, the deadlock was short-lived.
Sam Ryckebosch put Spanish Springs back on top when she answered the Galena goal just two minutes later.
Next, in the 77th minute, the SSHS squad added an insurance goal. It came off the foot of Barham thanks to an assist from Karen Corral.
"This was sweet. The girls played well," Faker said. "Forty five seconds into the match, Barham bounced one off the crossbar. We still pounded it in for 20 minutes. Then, Galena changed up its formation and that evened it up. They made some good adjustments. On their goal I still thought we made a mistake in the back and then they put in a great shot, but right after that Ryckebosch hit a beautiful shot from way out wide. We kept the pressure up and got another one. We finished strong. I was proud of them."
The Cougars return to their pitch for a 5:30 p.m. home match Tuesday against Reno.