Wa-Hi’s Rigo Ambriz (at left) uses his body to block a Chiawana defender during the Blue Devils’ 3-1 victory.
WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla High School soccer team was outshot 8-7, by Chiawana on the Blue Devil pitch here Thursday, but put three balls in the Riverhawks’ net to take the 3-1 win in convincing fashion.
The star of the day for Wa-Hi was Esteban Ojeda, who had the hat trick to lead the Blue Devils to victory.
“Esteban (Ojeda) today was great,” Wa-Hi coach Mike Washington said. “So that was nice for him. He is not a big fella, but he got in on the goals pretty nice, so that was good.”
Wa-Hi jumped out to the 2-0 lead early in the first half, with scores in the 15th and 22nd minutes.
Ojeda was assisted on the first goal by Francisco Sanchez, who crossed a pass to feed Ojeda a couple of feet in front of the goal to punch it into the net.
The second goal was unassisted. Sanchez’s penalty kick from 30 yards away bounced hard off the crossbar, which Ojeda headed past Chiawana keeper Fernando Gutierrez.
The Riverhawks scored in the 30th minute off the foot of Bryan Carreno, who took three tries before finally getting it past Wa-Hi keeper Mason Ahrens, to make it 2-1.
Ahrens made two saves on the play, batting the ball away before Carreno scored.
Ahrens tallied four saves on the day.
The Blue Devils held a 2-1 halftime lead.
“I would have loved if it had been 2-0 at half,” Washington said. “Any lead is great, but 2-1 is such a dangerous lead. We scored and then get scored back on. That is not what we want to do.
“We talked at half about how they could come back with a goal and tie it in the second half. Two-to-one is a difficult situation. We knew that we had to get another in before they could, and we did.”
The lone goal of the second half came in the 44th minute with Ojeda, being fed the ball by Christian Sergovia.
Each team got a yellow card in the second half.
“We’ve got some ability,” Washington said. “We’ve got some pace, we can play. The big thing that we’ve got to be careful of is that a lot of the other teams are quite physical and big and can cause us some problems that way. I thought we played well today, we really got a hold of the ball.”
The Blue Devils (1-1) travel to Kennewick at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Kennewick has been scoring some goals,” Washington said. “We could have our hands full. It could be a good game, hopefully it will be. I’m excited for that.”