The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Shorthanded Hounds prevail, move to 2-0

Peres, Vaz score goals in 2-1 victory over Oklahoma Baptist.

 

September 4, 2018

Kevin Wilson

ENMU sophomore midfielder Gabriel Peres gets Oklahoma Baptist goalkeeper Parker Lawter to commit before dribbling left to score the opening goal in the second half of Sunday's game at Greyhound Stadium.

PORTALES — Of all that could be ascertained on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Greyhound Stadium, two things stood out.

One, being a man down doesn’t mean you’re down and out. Two, it’s a good idea to follow Lucas Vaz when he has the ball.

A day late due to inclement weather, the lessons played out and Eastern New Mexico’s men’s soccer team got its first 2-0 start in four seasons via a 2-1 victory over Oklahoma Baptist.

All three goals on the day came in the second half, long after the Greyhounds went shorthanded following the second yellow card for Eastern’s William Sutton.

Eastern first got on the board in the 67th minute, when Vaz got to a centering pass just a hair before Bison goalkeeper Parker Lawter. The stop was made, but the rebound just seemed to find Gabriel Peres’ left foot. The sophomore midfielder had enough open space to make Lawter commit to the low shot, then dribbled to his right before blasting it into the left side.

“Coach says every time, ‘Go check, go check,’” Peres said. “I did, and I was able to play the ball where I could dribble and score. It was a nice battle with the keeper.”

That coach is Jon Fridal, hired in February from Indian Hills Community College off of an 18-3 season.

“Our mantra, our bread and butter, is getting numbers in the box,” Fridal said. “Either you’re going to get something served or you’re going to get a rebound.”

But not all shots have rebounds. The Bison made it a new ballgame just over 10 minutes later when Jesus Andrade got a little bit of daylight and blasted a crowd-silencing shot ENMU keeper Logan Miears had no chance to stop.

Just three minutes later, Vaz got another scoring opportunity when he won a tight race with Oklahoma Baptist’s Italo Vichiatto down the left sideline.

“I was focused on the goal when he tried to tackle me,” said Vaz, who has two goals and an assist in two games for ENMU. “I was thinking I was going to pass, but then I saw the angle. Once I got past him, it was clear for and I shot.”

Kevin Wilson

Lucas Vaz gets daylight against Oklahoma Baptist's Italo Vichiatto. Vaz went on the score the game-winning goal on the play.

And 10 minutes later, the Greyhounds won what was a heated contest by any metric. A total of 10 yellow cards were doled out — four for the Greyhounds and six for the Bison. The most pivotal was the second to Sutton in the 39th minute, leaving the Greyhounds with 10 men for the rest of the afternoon.

Fridal was naturally concerned facing the final 50-plus minutes shorthanded, but he didn’t feel the Greyhounds were doomed.

“With our defense, we cover spaces,” he said, “so we’re usually not chasing guys. We made some tweaks, and the guys did a great job adjusting.

“We gave up a goal, but if those are the kind of goals you give up you aren’t going to give up a lot of goals.”

The Greyhounds now head to Colorado, with a 5:30 p.m. Thursday matchup at No. 21 Colorado Mesa and a 1 p.m. Saturday tilt at Fort Lewis in their final matches before Heartland Conference play opens.

 

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