The Dalles soccer player Jack Bonham finds some open ground for a clearing pass in a varsity soccer game played last season. Bonham had a highlight-reel goal to help lead the Riverhawks to a 3-0 win over Redmond. Ray Rodriguez photo
As of Thursday, September 1, 2016
Aldo Manzo, Pedro Lopez and Brandon Bustamante each scored goals, but it was the stout play of the Riverhawk defensive quartet of Bustamante, Andy Lopez, Julian Quintan and Miguel Aguilar that held Redmond without a shot on goal in a 3-0 The Dalles boys’ soccer victory Tuesday at home.
TD’s first-year head coach Matthew Dallman credited Bustamante, a senior captain, for being a stabilizing force for a defense that features three freshmen who were playing in their first high school contest.
“Brandon is a rock back there. He is the core of our defense,” Dallman said. “He is able to motivate those guys and helps them keep their heads in the game and play well in their first high school game. Andy, Miguel and Julian all had very solid performances, but our rock back there is Brandon. He is in control back there. He showed a lot of leadership and discipline.”
The Riverhawks got on the scoreboard early in action, as Manzo scored a goal at the 10-minute mark on an assist from Alberto Gallegos.
The score remained 1-0 until the 35th minute of the first half, off a free kick from Bustamante from 40 yards out.
Lopez corralled the loose ball, coasted down the sideline and drilled his shot from 20 yards out just off the post in the net for the goal to give TD a 2-0 lead.
Late in the second half, Lopez and Bonham connected for a highlight-reel goal to cap the scoring.
Lopez had control of the ball and lofted a cross pass to Bonham, who headed his shot past the Redmond goalkeeper for the score.
Dallman was pleased with the teamwork and communication his group showed in their first game of the season, saying passing was the major difference in the win.
“They felt more comfortable on the ball, we had a lot of good passing and we had a lot of smart players on the field that don’t just look to kick it as far as they can,” Dallman added. “Once they get it, they look to make a play with each other.”
Off to a great start, Dallman was able to evaluate his players to help them find their roles on the field to help the team.
Confidence is going to be critical, especially with such a young, inexperienced roster.
“We won the game, but there is still a lot to work on and we can still learn a lot about ourselves,” Dallman said. “Our shape and our discipline in position still need to improve.”
The Dalles (1-0 overall) heads to Portland for a non-league game starting at 4:30 p.m. tonight against Parkrose.
At 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, the soccer team heads to Milton-Freewater to take on 4A Mac-Hi.