Pioneers slice up Tillamook

Mac-Hi's Sergio Alvarez (right) scores against Tillamook in the first half of their game Tuesday at Shockman Field.

Mac-Hi's Sergio Alvarez (right) scores against Tillamook in the first half of their game Tuesday at Shockman Field. Photo by Michael Lopez.

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MILTON-FREEWATER — The McLoughlin High School boys soccer team outshot the visiting Tillamook Cheesemakers 26-2 en route to a 3-1 victory in round one of the Oregon state Class 4A playoffs Tuesday.

“We didn’t know much about Tillamook,” Mac-Hi junior midfielder Alberto Herrera said. “We didn’t have any history with them and we’ve never played them before. We just went out there and played hard.

“We could have done better,” he continued. “We could have scored more, finished better and kept our heads better.”

Midfielder Cristian Torres connected on two of the Pioneer goals — both in the second half — and senior forward Sergio Alvarez scored to close the first half.

Mac-Hi head coach Jose Garcia praised his players for performing under the pressure of the playoffs.

“People don’t realize how hard soccer is sometimes,” Garcia said. “It seems easy sometimes, but there is pressure from the coaches and the fans (of) this team. Actually, my players have handled it well and done pretty good.”

Although Mac-Hi controlled most of the match, the Pioneers’ shot-to-goal ratio left something to be desired.

The Pioneers shot 26 times, but only found the back of the net three times. Tillamook, on the other hand, finished with two shots and one score.

Garcia was adamant the Pioneers could have held a bigger lead with more offensive efficiency.

“The bad part about the game is that we need to get more assertive about hitting the target and putting the ball in the back of the net,” Garcia said. “We had so many opportunities in the first half. It could have been 5-0 before half.”

Alvarez’s goal opened the scoring at the 30th minute mark, as he corralled a loose ball 10 yards in front of the Tillamook keeper, Sergio Jimenez, and put the ball past Jiminez for the score. Torres added to the Pioneer lead in the 41st minute with some nifty footwork that resulted in a goal.

But Torres wasn’t finished there, as he was awarded a penalty kick in the 51st minute after he was fouled in the penalty box. Torres splashed the penalty kick into the back of the net to make it 3-0 Pioneers.

The referees had a busy night, as two yellow cards were awarded to Mac-Hi and one to the Cheesemakers.

Mac-Hi controlled posession early, with the Pioneers racking up 10 shots in the first half to Tillamook’s one. Five of Mac-Hi’s shots were on target, with Alvarez responsible for four of them.

The Cheesemakers started the match with a shot on goal in the third minute of the game, but were held in check for the remainder of the first half.

That trend lasted into the second half, as the Cheesemakers went 66 minutes without sniffing the Mac-Hi goal. The Cheesemakers’ Ernesto Mondragon changed that with a goal in the 69th minute of the game.

The Pioneers now host Sisters High School, which beat Marion 2-1 Tuesday, in the quarterfinals at Shockman Field at a time to be determined on Saturday.

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