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BOYS SOCCER: Hood River beats Cleveland 3-2 in exhibition match (11/1/2013)
November 4, 2013By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
Hood River 3, Cleveland 2
Cleveland traveled to Hood River on Friday night to take on the Hood River Valley Eagles, in a “friendly game” that did not count in the standings. The Warriors finished the season with three easy victories, and coach Scott Killen wanted to get an extra game in as a “tune up” for the upcoming playoffs.
Cleveland started out effectively controlling the ball, lining up multiple passes across the field while patiently looking for good chances. Hood River, on the other hand, is a fast team who relied on long passes to set up breakaways.
Hood River got the first good look 5 minutes in on a shot from the top of the box by senior Edgar Villegas that went wide of the right post. They got another break down the left sideline in the 8th minute by senior Tuan Nguyen, but the Warriors’ redoubtable keeper, senior Hubie Charman, made the quick save.
Cleveland got on the board first in the 13th minute, when senior Charlie Clark outjumped Eagles keeper Enruque Rueda and headed home a long thrown in from senior Braxton Griffith.
Nguyen had another good look for the Eagles in the 18th, but hit the ball left of the goal, and senior midfielder Daniel Merchant nearly scored in the 20th with a hard shot from the left side that Rueda was just able to tip wide of the right post. Eagles junior Jaime Frias took a long ball in on a break 30 minutes in, and Charman made a quick hand save that knocked the shot off the crossbar. Senior Adrien Baures drilled a rising shot from 35 yards out with four minutes on the clock, but Rueda was in position to knock it away.
The Eagles made some adjustments in the second half and came out playing more players up front for the long ball, and the strategy appeared to pay off. They managed a good shot wide right in the 42nd minute from Gutierrez, and tied the game a minute later off a breakaway down the left side by sophomore Gio Magana. Charman made an impressive diving save off another left side shot on goal from Magana a minute later on.
Baures had a good look in the 51st minute, with an outside shot that went wide of the right post, and a minute later, senior Daniel Merchant drilled a rebound off a Griffith throw-in play that beat the keeper but hit the left post straight on. The Warriors controlled the ball well for the next few minutes, culminating in a pass into the box from Merchant that sophomore Jorge Flores fired from 7 yards out with his left foot inside the right post to put Cleveland in the lead, 2-1.
But the Eagles continued their long ball attack, forcing saves by Charman in the 58th and 60th minutes. In the 65th, senior Kevin Elliott McCrea headed a Merchant free kick back across the goal to senior Mo Abdikadir, who headed it just over the bar.
The Eagles tied it up in the 67th minute, when Nguyen got free down the right sideline and hit a high shot to the far post. Two minutes later, Charman hauled in a sharp angle shot from the left side by Nguyen, and it came to rest on the goal line. The sideline referee judged that the ball had crossed the line and awarded Hood River the winning goal of the game.
The Warriors played well in a pretty even match, passing effectively, but need to make adjustments to handle the long game. Hood River plays Parkrose and Cleveland plays Ashland, both on Tuesday, and if both win, we can anticipate a rematch next Saturday afternoon.