WALLA WALLA — It was the Francisco Sanchez and Esteban Ojeda show — at least in the scoring department — Saturday at the Walla Walla High School soccer pitch.
The senior duo had a hand in every goal as the Blue Devils knocked off previously-undefeated and league-leading Kennewick, 4-2.
Not only did the win come against the Mid-Columbia Conference’s top team in the Lions, who were 9-0 overall and 7-0 in league prior to Saturday, but it pushed the Blue Devils back to .500 in league play (4-4 MCC, 4-5 overall).
“It was very exciting and very enjoyable,” Wa-Hi coach Mike Washington said.
Alexis Medina scored the Blue Devils’ first goal thanks to a Sanchez assist. Sanchez scored the next goal thanks to a helping hand from Ojeda and Wa-Hi took a 2-1 lead into the second half.
The Blue Devils took a 3-1 lead in the second half thanks to another goal from Sanchez and assist from Ojeda, but Kennewick closed the gap with a goal of its own with 17 minutes remaining in the game.
“They made it exciting toward the end,” Washington said.
But with two minutes remaining Sanchez and Ojeda struck again, this time with Ojeda scoring and Sanchez picking up an assist, to seal the victory.
“It was kind of an Esteban Ojeda and Francisco Sanchez show today,” Washington said. “We changed things around a bit because they’re both so good. I think it helped them a bit to give them more freedom to play.”
The Blue Devils finished with 10 shots on the day.
Wa-Hi keeper Mason Ahrens made six saves.
Kennewick didn’t seem to cope well with playing from behind, Washington said, as they picked up two red cards in the game.
“I felt we kept our composure and we controlled the tempo of the game,” Washington said. “I think they are used to having that themselves and we kind of took that away from them a bit.”
The Blue Devils next visit Hanford on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and host Richland Saturday at 1 p.m.
They have six games remaining before district playoffs begin on May 6.
“It was important,” Washington said of Saturday’s win. “We talked about getting back on track and being consistent, and we talked about what kind of mode you have to be in to win in the playoffs.”