Wa-Hi boots past Pullman, 4-1

Three first-half goals propel the Blue Devils to their fourth boys soccer victory against no losses.


WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi remained undefeated in boys soccer action here at the Blue Devil pitch Tuesday.

Wa-Hi's Jose Beleche headed in a deep cross from Jose Saldana in the 18th minute and the Blue Devils never looked back as they scored three first-half goals and posted a 4-1 non-conference win over Pullman.

"We played well and worked hard," Wa-Hi coach Mike Washington said. "We scored some goals tonight which was nice."

The Greyhounds had play in the Wa-Hi end for the first three minutes before the Blue Devils began to attack.

Joshua Bates booted a pass ahead to Rene Saldana, who found Jose Saldana, who got the ball to Beleche, who fired right on in the fourth minute. It was caught by Greyhound goalie Nick Salvadalena, but the Blue Devils would be back in his territory.

Rene Saldana blasted a shot at the 33:50 mark and Salvador Esquivel had a look in the 14th minute, but Pullman hung tough at 0-0.

"We struggled a little bit to get things going at Eastmont (a Wa-Hi win last Saturday)," Washington said. "The movement today was really good. Once we get around people, we have a lot of speed. It was nice to see us use a little of that tonight."

The Blue Devils got the first score on the Beleche header in the 18th minute. Beleche's shot hit the bottom right goal post and ricocheted into the back of the net for a 1-0 Wa-Hi lead.

"I think he (Beleche) was looking to cross it," Washington said. "Give him credit for being there. Those kinds of things happen when you put it on frame."

The Blue Devils earned a corner kick in the 25th minute and Jose Saldana took the kick. Saldana lofted the CK to Rene Saldana, who got his head on the ball, and drew a hand ball penalty on the Greyhounds.

Wa-Hi goalie Andrew Glaeser was summoned to take the penalty kick. Glaeser beat the Greyhound keeper into the lower right corner and the Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead with 15:00 left in the first half.

A minute later, Sean Williams picked up a contested ball in front of the Pullman net and fired a low-bouncer for a 3-0 Wa-Hi lead.

Wa-Hi went to intermission outshooting the Greyhounds 13-3 and ahead 3-0.

In the 52nd minute, a cross from Nick Stevens was blasted home by Trevor Snodgrass and the Greyhounds were back in the hunt at 3-1.

"We were a little nervous after we let the goal in," Washington said. "It was a lack of concentration, but we responded pretty well."

Williams and a Greyhound defenseman got into a scrum in front of the Greyhound net in the 56th minute and the ball squirted to Ricardo Saldana.

Ricardo Saldana answered the Greyhound goal with one of his own in the lower left and the Blue Devils restored their three-goal margin at 4-1.

Wa-Hi improved to 4-0 with the non-conference win and takes a 2-0 record in Columbia Basin Big Nine play.

The Blue Devils play a conference game with Wenatchee at home Friday.


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