PRESCOTT — It’s not often you’ll find too many soccer coaches worried about a 5-3 victory.
But when you’re the reigning Washington state champions and you score three goals in 14 minutes, then allow the opponent to control almost the entire remainder of the match, well, it doesn’t make for an ecstatic coach.
And Waitsburg-Prescott coach Jay Potts wasn’t Thursday night after his team did just that against the visiting Riverside Christian Crusaders in a non-league soccer match.
“We’re young and we’re working with that,” Potts said. “We’ve got two young forwards, so we’re still working on playing together and learning. Our defense is still a work in progress, but we showed some improvement in that aspect too.”
Waitsburg-Prescott (2-1) opened scoring in only the second minute of play with a Lino Diaz ringer on an assist from Rodrigo Gonzzales.
Ernesto Valdovinos, who finished with a hat trick, scored just 10 minutes later on another assist from Gonzzales and Jonny Escalante poked in the final goal of the opening spurt on an assist from Aldair Escalante.
From there, Riverside Christian scored goals in the 32nd and 51st minutes before equalizing in the 60th minute.
With just 10 minutes left to play, Valdovinos picked up his second goal of the night for a 4-3, W-P lead. He added an insurance goal in the 78th as a game that ended up being too close for comfort drew to an end.
“It was good to see Ernesto (Valdovinos) bring it today,” Potts said. “He was pretty key for us last year and he’s just improving on that.
“We played well in the first 20 minutes of the game and we played well in the last 10 — the rest we’ve got to work on,” Potts said. “There were two things that we’re going on: we’re trying to work on having more patience on offense ... and Riverside didn’t fold up, they didn’t give in. They played a good game.”
Waitsburg-Prescott lost much of the team that led it to a Class 2B/1B state championship last season, but has promise in its younger ranks, Potts said. The problem is, many of those new players have not had enough practices to play yet or are still working on eligibility.
“We were kind of in survival mode today,” Potts said. “We have a lot of new faces that haven’t seen playing time in actual games and our returners are slowly making themselved back into the lineup as they get eligible to play.”
Waitsburg-Prescott visits Irrigon, Ore., Saturday at noon.