Waitsburg-Prescott avoids upset at the hands of Walla Walla Valley Academy

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COLLEGE PLACE — Walla Walla Valley Academy gave the defending state champs all they could handle Tuesday night, but Waitsburg-Prescott had the golden goal in extra time to take a 3-2 victory from the Knights.

Jose Paniagua scored the winning corner kick in the 88th minute, bending his shot into a gaggle of WWVA and W-P players at the goal line and into the net. The sudden-death goal eliminated the spectre of what would have been a massive upset.

“As a team, as a whole we played phenomenal, and I’m proud of that,” WWVA coach Arturo Gomez said. “This team has always beaten WWVA by 11-, 12-nil, and today we’ve accomplished a great game.”

The winning coach wasn’t so happy.

“We didn’t come very ready to play, I can tell you that,” W-P coach Mark Grimm said. “But, give credit to WWVA, they played hard. They were ready to play soccer and we definitely were not ready today.”

Fernando Torres Escalante opened scoring in the 10th minute off an assist by Abraham Sanchez. Sanchez was able to poke a ball through the WWVA defensive line and Torres-Escalante ran it down for a one-on-one chance.

Yeltson Sanchez answered for the Knights with a goal in the 22nd minute on a Cameron Fitzgerald assist.

Aldair Escalante scored on another breakaway in the 60th, with Torres-Escalante sending up the pass.

After an interference call negated his first penalty kick, forward Aric Rivera scored the equalizer on the re-do in the 64th minute.

Waitsburg-Prescott had multiple opportunities to end the game prior to overtime, including a Lino Diaz penalty kick that caromed off the left upright, but W-P struggled to get quality shots off.

“We definitely had some opportunities, our shooting was atrocious today,” Grimm said. “That’s my fault. They’re just not taking shooting in practice as seriously as I wish we would, so hopefully we’ll learn that lesson today.”

WWVA (3-1-0 overall) won’t see the field again until Wednesday, Oct. 17, when it faces W-P in Prescott.

Waitsburg-Prescott (7-2, 3-0 Southeast 2B) hosts St. George Friday at 4 p.m.

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