The Dalles Wahtonka sophomore Leo Hernandez, left, makes a low head pass downfield around Riley Kendrick of Pendleton in Tuesday’s Columbia River Conference boy’s soccer match in The Dalles. In the game, TDW broke open a 1-1 tie with goals by Andres Manzo and Leo Hernandez to upend the Buckaroos.
Photo by Mark Gibson.
From the opening whistle, Leo Hernandez and The Dalles Wahtonka were a group on a mission.
Hernandez scored a goal and teammate Andres Manzo tacked on two more to lead the Eagle Indians to a 3-1 victory over Pendleton Tuesday in Columbia River Conference boy’s soccer play in The Dalles.
“At first, I saw on the players’ faces that they were ready,” Hernandez said. “We talked about how much we needed to win the game. We had to work hard and that’s what we did. I think this game was one of the best games we played because we never stopped running and we touched the ball way better.”
Manzo gave the Tribe a 1-0 lead in the opening half, as he blasted a shot from the right side of the field just under the left post past the Pendleton goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
The Buckaroos quickly capitalized a little later in the half, taking advantage of a Tribe defensive mistake to even the count at 1-apiece at the break.
The halftime speech was spirited and poignant, so the Tribe came out firing on Pendleton early and often.
“Coach (Head coach Luis Gamez) talked to us and we were all concentrated, so we went back to work,” Hernandez added.
Manzo scored what turned out to be the eventual game-winner early in the second stanza, with his high shot making it past the Buckaroo keeper, who had his vision impaired due to sunshine.
Finally, in the 80th minute, Hernandez retrieved a centering pass from the middle of the field from Aldo Rivas.
With no defenders around him, Hernandez scooped up the ball and roped a hard shot to the left post and in the net to run T-Dub’s lead up to 3-1.
With one of their highest scoring outputs of the season, Hernandez did not overlook the dominant effort put out by the Eagle Indian defensive corps along with goalkeeper Bryan Sanchez, holding Pendleton to limited chances and just the one goal.
“I thought we defended great,” Hernandez said. “We were ready for anything. We just need to practice good and work hard every day. I think we are ready for the final part of the season. All we have in our head now is Hood River. We are going to try our best and I know we can beat them (if we play our style of soccer).”
TDW (2-5-2 overall, 1-1 league) hits the field at 4 p.m. Tuesday against the No. 4 Eagles (7-1-1).
TDW girls have rally fall short
After falling behind 4-0 in the opening half, The Dalles Wahtonka never backed down in their 4-2 loss Tuesday to Pendleton.
Yesenia Aguilar and Monique Mendiola added tallies for the Tribe in the second half, and head coach Colby Tonn said there were a handful of others that could not be converted.
“They kept on battling and they kept on creating chances, so we really deserved to get a goal in this game because of that effort,” Tonn said. “Not only did we get one goal, we got two, so everyone felt positive after the game. Those two goals are really going to help with the attitude and them carrying on and improving.”
At the 68-minute mark of the second half, Aguilar and teammate, Melissa Cruz, worked in tandem to put T-Dub on the scoreboard.
Aguilar gained possession and Cruz made her run alongside in give-and-go fashion.
Cruz found an open area close to the Pendleton goal and lofted a pass to Aguilar past the Buckaroo keeper.
Just 10 minutes later, the Eagle Indians had a corner kick with Hannah Walasavage making the boot.
The ball caromed off a few Pendleton defenders until Mendiola secured the loose ball and laced a bullet to the back of the net to cap the scoring.
The goal now is to prepare for tough road matchups next week.
“Even though the score line isn’t what we wanted, we were able to see improvement,” Tonn said. “My hope is that our girls come out ready to go next week. It is going to be a challenge, but I think we are ready for it.”
TDW (3-4-2 overall, 0-1-1 league) hits the field at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Hood River.
After that, the Tribe plays their third straight road game at 4 p.m. in Hermiston.