ELMA — The Bulldogs traveled to Elma for their last 1A Evergreen League soccer match against their East County rival Elma. Montesano defeated the Elma Eagles, 2-0.
In a non-consequential meet a couple of things happened: first, the Eagles had already positioned themselves in third place to advance into the District IV playoffs as the 1A Evergreen final berth; second, the Bulldogs took another game away from Elma, bringing their inter-league rival 2012 soccer season to 2-1 versus the Eagles.
The game played more like two 20-minute quarters than a 40-minute first half as far as control and threat at the net.
The Bulldogs kept the play in front of the Eagle net for the majority of the first 19 minutes of play. In a flurry of maroon, a scant red shirt occasionally popped out as Eagle goalkeeper Edgar Hermenegildo tried his best to position himself at the correct angle to deflect the Bulldog attack. But from the left side of the goal Brandon Lovell was able to punch in a goal to the right of the net to set Montesano up by one.
The goal ignited the Eagles, who took charge for the next 20 minutes. As play shifted ends of the field, both teams worked their offenses, taking several attempts at goal. The Eagle strikeforce was unable to penetrate the Bulldog defense, even when awarded an indirect free kick that the Bulldogs were able to foil.
With the start of the second half of play, both teams spelled their goal keepers giving the opposing team hope that the fresh guardsmen would be unable to stop their stinging attacks.
Hermenegildo was replaced in the net by Tyler Davis and Montesano let loose Eduardo Lopez from his box, allowing Brett Cooper to mind the store. With different combinations available on the field from both teams, the game stayed equaled in play. Just before the mid-point of the second half, Lopez was able to pass to midfielder David Sawyer who drilled one just off center of Davis for the Bulldogs final goal. No sooner had Montesano tested the replacement goal keeper of the Eagles, Elma returned down field and gave Cooper a taste of Eagle Pride as they took advantage of a free kick followed by a corner kick, but the Bulldog defenders were able to assist Cooper in keeping it from reaching the back of the net.
“This is the end of the season for us, but we came out and took two out of the three against Elma. That was a real motivation for us tonight. It was a culmination of skills for us. They (Bulldog team) played like they wanted it, I could not pick a single player to highlight tonight, they all played with heart,” Coach Gary Mawhorter said.
The Eagles now turn their focus on the next round and District play.
“Overall we are happy with the season, working on some combinations that we are looking at for Districts and possibly further,” Eagle Coach Carson Seaberg said.
Elma District Update
The Eagles applied their style of the game against La Center in the opening rounds of District IV play in La Center on May 5. In less than ideal field conditions, both teams were scoreless in regulation time. The contest went into two additional 5-minute periods and still could not produce a winning goal. Taking the game into a penalty kick shootout, the nets began to shake as both teams hit three for three. Scoring for Elma in that round was Edgar Hermenegildo, Reynaldo Ayala and Steven Persell. La Center was able to convert on their last attempt as Elma’s went wide to finish the game 4-3 in favor of La Center. The Eagles finished their season with a record of 7-9.