KENNEWICK - Wa-Hi is getting a little more respect on the soccer field.
The Blue Devils triumphed 2-1 over the Kennewick Lions in a battle of undefeated teams at the Kennewick soccer field Tuesday.
"It was an important game for us," Wa-Hi coach Mike Washington said. "We haven't been getting a lot of respect from Tri-Cities teams, so for us it's a personal goal to keep playing hard, keep being a team and keep having fun."
Wa-Hi's backup goalie Thomas Gonzalez made seven saves in his first start of the year, Washington said. Regular goalie Andrew Glaeser is traveling with another soccer team.
"We were going in a little nervous because our starting goalkeeper was gone," Washington said. "But Thomas did a tremendous job for the team and it was a huge relief for us playing an undefeated team."
Ricky Saldana scored the Blue Devils' first goal with an assist off Rene Saldana, putting the Blue Devils up 1-0 going into intermission despite having the wind in their faces.
"Kennewick played pretty direct," Washington said.
In the second half, Kennewick made one shot to tie the game.
"They got a goal, and that was kind of the result of continual pressure on their part," Washington said. "Our goalkeeper was a little on-sided with that."
With about 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Wa-Hi's Jose Belache scored from 20 yards out into the upper-right corner with an assist by Sean Williams to win.
The victory improves Wa-Hi's record to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in league play. Hanford plays at Wa-Hi Saturday.