The Columbia Basin College men’s soccer team played smart, hard soccer Saturday afternoon in Pasco.
had several opportunities to score and stood toe-to-toe with Walla
Walla Community College, a team that won the last two NWAACC East titles
and could capture a third with a win Wednesday.
That’s what made
Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Walla Walla even tougher to swallow, especially
after the Hawks played the Warriors to a scoreless draw in Walla Walla
earlier this month.
A couple of slip-ups is all it takes to undo 88 minutes worth of good in the world of NWAACC soccer.
actually thought we played well in both halves. A couple of times we
just fell asleep, and they broke on us,” Hawks coach Corey Chandler said
of Warriors’ two first-half goals.
Michael Mollay took a pass up
the right wing from Jhony Mendoza at the 22-minute mark, dribbled past
the top of the 18-yard box and fired a shot from 12 yards out that beat
Hawks goalkeeper Antonio Gonzalez to the upper right corner for a 1-0
“CBC came out with a lot of emotion in the first 10-15
minutes, and we countered,” Warriors coach Chad Bodnar said. “It made us
more comfortable knowing we were playing from ahead and that we could
sit in, counter and hold possession.”
Walla Walla (11-1-2 overall,
8-0-2 NWAACC East) picked up its second goal 21 minutes later, when
Mario Guizar, a Kamiakin graduate, made a run from midfield and slipped
between two central defenders to set up a shot on goal. Guizar beat
Gonzalez to the right side for his 15th goal of the season, putting him
in second place among NWAACC scoring leaders.
“We were down 1-0,
and our guys were anxious to score. They saw we were taking it to them a
little bit, but our midfielders started pushing up a little too high.
They just countered on us, because our midfield was out of position,”
Jesse Esquivel, a sophomore forward for CBC (3-8-4,
2-4-4), stepped off the field at the half and tried to fire up his
team. The scrappy West Valley (Yakima) High School graduate stood in
front of the Hawks bench, an exasperated mix of sweat and fury.
happened?! Why did our bench stop talking? We’re down 2-0. Are we going
to stop fighting?” Esquivel said during the break.
had no intention of giving up, putting together several scoring chances
in the second half, doing everything short of finishing.
Chandler nor Esquivel could find fault in the Hawks’ effort.
confident in this team. We drew against them, and they were in the
(NWAACC) finals last year. It proved we can compete with any team,”
Esquivel said after the game. “We just have to concentrate for a full 90
minutes, because two little mistakes can kill a game for you.”
game was quite physical and filled with minor shoving matches that
could have easily turned into something more serious. But the presence
of center referree Mikhail Alnajaar and some cooler heads on both teams
prevented any escalation.
“Earlier in the year, we got a couple
reds in a match. We stooped down to another team’s level for a few
minutes, and it cost us,” Chandler said. “Walla Walla does a great job
grinding at you, but I was proud of our guys — aside from one yellow
card — for keeping their heads.
“Down 2-0, it can be pretty easy
to go the other way and start wanting to be chippy and dangerous. I’m
proud of our guys for playing through it and not getting into physical
With three games remaining on each team’s
schedule, Walla Walla can clinch their third consecutive East Division
title with a win over Treasure Valley on Wednesday. That would also help
CBC, which is tied with Chukars for third place with 10 points apiece.
The Hawks will host Wenatchee Valley on Thursday at 2:15 p.m.
WW, Michael Mollay (Jhony Mendoza), 21:30; 2, WW, Mario Guizar, 42:20.
Shots—WW 13, CBC 10. Saves—WW, Derek Carver 1. CBC, Antonio Gonzalez 2.
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald.
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