MILTON-FREEWATER — The Mac-Hi boys soccer team rolled over the La Grande Tigers 5-1 here Thursday night at Shockman Field.
The Pioneers led 1-0 at intermission and then turned it up a notch in the second half, scoring four more times to win convincingly.
"In the first half, we were slow, passive and played somewhat poorly," Mac-Hi coach Jose Garcia said. "We were possessing the ball, but we needed to play much harder and more aggressively.
"There was a talk at halftime about making the through passes, finding the gaps and holes to score. It is all for nothing if you can’t score the ball."
Mac-Hi had plenty of opportunities in the first half. In the second minute, a crossing pass from Johnny Trevino led to a Roberto Sandoval shot that hit the crossbar.
At the 11th minute, Mac-Hi tried again with a nice shot from Oscar Flores. It took a diving stop by the Tiger goalkeeper to keep it out of the net.
Trevino ran onto a long pass of about 20 yards from Lupito Salazar and dribbled down the middle of field for a one-on-one chance. Trevino faked right and shot left to elude the diving goalie and make it 1-0 Mac-Hi. This lead held until after halftime, when the Tigers fought back.
After attempting only one shot on goal in the first half, La Grande scored early in the second half. A hard-charging Bradley Thomson took the ball 30 yards up the field and booted it past Mac-Hi goalkeeper Jessie Saldana to even the score at 1-1.
Saldana played goalie in the second half for the Pioneers, after Francisco Flores manned the goal in the first half.
After what Garcia called a wake up call for the Pioneers, Mac-Hi went right to work, scoring four goals and putting the game out of reach in the blink of an eye.
At the 18th minute of the second stanza, Trevino dribbled into the goal box and fired a shot on a sharp angle, right to left, past the keeper and into the left corner of the net.
Two minutes later, a crossing pass from Mac-Hi’s Nick Stanford to the middle of the goal was headed in nicely by Oscar Flores to make it 3-1 Pioneers.
Ninety seconds later, Trevino’s point-blank shot from inside the box ricocheted off the goalie and was kicked into the netting by Nick Stanford to boost Mac-Hi’s lead to 4-1.
The Pioneers got their final goal after Sandoval’s shot was caught but then dropped by the keeper.
Oscar Flores pounced on the rebound for his second goal of the game.
The Tigers managed three shots, one on goal, in the second half as Mac-Hi pulled away.
The win improves Mac-Hi’s record to 7-1 and 4-0 in conference. The loss drops the Tigers to 4-1 in conference.
"The win makes us more comfortable — makes us think that we can go a little further in league and win more," Garcia said. "We play next Saturday in Ontario and that will a good test because each game is different and anything can happen."