“It was a very competitive game,” Hug coach Ralph Renteria said. “It was very back and forth and well played on both sides. We both have basically good teams.”
Reed (4-3-3, 1-0-2 High Desert League) scored early in the game on a Ricardo Martinez goal, that was assisted by K.C. Campbell in the fifth minute of the game. However, Hug came back with a vengeance.
“It was a lack of intensity today,” Reed coach Jeff Valentine said. “It seemed like we weren't there.”
The Hawks tied things up in the 23rd minute on an Edwin Bustos goal that was assisted by Mario Rosiles. Reed had a poor clear in the back field and Hug capitalized on a long shot for the 1-1 tie.
In the second half, Hug scored again. Mario Sanchez got a dish close to the net from Rosiles in the 54th minute. That propelled Hug into taking the 2-1 edge.
“For playing a very poor game, walking out with a point is OK,” Valentine said.
Hug held the Raiders throughout the rest of the half, squashing all of the RHS squad's attacks.
“We conditioned very well,” Renteria said. “My team is probably one of the most conditioned teams out here. We, on average, run at least three and a half miles twice a week and that's just the basic conditioning we do.”
Finally, in the last second of stoppage time, Francisco Herrera took a corner kick for the Raiders. Goalie Luca Licciardi came out to help his team in a final attempt. Campbell got a tip off to Drew McFarland who headed it in for the intense 2-2 finish.
“That's huge,” Valentine said on managing a tie. “We're not up to where we should be. We're capable of a lot more, I know we are. We have great ball players and it's a matter of coming around.”
Licciardi posted three saves for Reed.
While the finish was intense, the Raiders did not seem energized in the majority of the match.
“You can teach everything but heart,” Valentine said. “They have to want it. I think when they finally get that, we'll be good to go.”
The Raiders will travel across town on Saturday to take on Sparks rival, Spanish Springs at 1 p.m.
“We will be ready to go,” Valentine said. “They're already talking about it. We're not going to let this one eat at us. So we'll be ready to go Saturday.”