Portales splits with St. Michael’s
The Portales boys soccer team continued its undefeated run to start off the 2016 campaign with a 7-2 victory over the St. Michael’s Horsemen.
While St. Michael’s (0-6) has yet to win a game this season, Portales didn’t make it easy as it spent all but three minutes of the match playing a man down after Jesus Lavalle was given a red card for grabbing a St. Michael’s striker when he had a clear path to the goalie.
Staff photo: Matthew Asher
Portales freshman Jesus Chavez, left, watches his shot go past the St. Michael’s goalie in the first half of Portales’ 7-2 win over the Horsemen. Chavez’ goal tied the game at one and Portales would score the next six goals of the match.
Graham Gesten would give the Horsemen a 1-0 lead following the free kick.
Portales coach Nathan Dodge made the necessary adjustments to ensure his team could still compete with just 10 men on the pitch the rest of the way.
“We had to drop Adan Garay, a midfielder, to defense for the rest of the game,” Dodge said. “It was to help our offense because he’d give us a little extra touch on the ball and control it better defensively.”
The change worked wonders as Portales (7-0) would go on to score the next seven goals to keep its perfect season in tact.
Jesus Chavez scored the equalizer in the 15th minute off a breakaway run and Pedro Perea put the Rams up for good three minutes later with a penalty kick. Perea would score another goal in the 39th minute to give the Rams a 4-1 lead going into the half.
Staff photo: Matthew Asher
Portales senior Pedro Perea battles with a St. Michael’s player during the first half of Saturday’s game. Perea would score two goals in the first half for the Rams, helping them to a 7-1 victory.
Also adding to the scoring for Portales was Freddy Exiga with a goal and an assist, Junior Salomon and Lesther Olivia Andrade getting the final two goals for Portales. Andrade was assisted on both of his goals by Omar Nunez.
While Dodge did say he had to substitute his players more often being one man down, he was more concerned with his team having control of the ball.
“Our deal was possessing the ball,” Dodge said. “Maintaining possession and making (St. Michael’s) chase the ball. We wanted to slow down the game so we wouldn’t wear ourselves out trying to play defense the whole time.”
Dodge also had to put in backup goalkeeper Brian Tinajero to play the second half.
“(Starting goalie) Jesus Castillo wasn’t feeling well at half-time,” Dodge said. “Brian did well. He played on the field last year so he’s great at maintaining possession, clearing the ball. He has a great touch on the ball and is a good safety valve.”
In the early game of the afternoon, the Lady Rams had a much more difficult time as the Lady Horsemen came away with an 11-2 win.
Already trailing 6-1 to start the second half, the final half didn’t go much better for Portales (5-6) as the majority of the second half was spent with the Lady Rams having trouble slowing down the Lady Horsemen scoring onslaught.
“St. Mike’s got two quick goals which took the wind out of us,” Portales coach Ruben Tellez said. “Our goalkeeper said she was trying some new techniques that weren’t working. We switched goalies and didn’t have better luck. Physically, (St. Michael’s) was tougher. We got to learn that soccer is a contact sport. We’re learning but it’s the hard way.”
Tellez said he was glad his team didn’t quit on the pitch, but he knows the Lady Rams need more work in preparation for their conference schedule.
“All 11 have to contribute,” he said. “Eleven on offense and 11 on defense. There are a few quirks here and there that are killing us but we’ve got to keep working on it.”
Both the Rams and Lady Rams will host Robertson this Tuesday. The girls take the pitch at 3 p.m. and the boys will follow at 5 p.m.