Pioneers shut out Riverside

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BOARDMAN, Ore. — It wasn’t just another non-league match for Mac-Hi’s boys soccer team here Monday afternoon.

The Pioneers entered the match with a 12-1-1 record, and the Riverside squad across the field was responsible for that one defeat.

“We were determined to leave everything on the field,” Mac-Hi coach Jose Garcia said after watching his team carve up the Pirates 6-0. “They beat us 2-1 early in the season, and that was our only loss. So we were motivated.

“Riverside has a decent team,” Garcia continued. “And they always play us tough, no matter what.”

That was the case in the first half Monday as well as the teams battled to a scoreless tie. But the Pioneers dominated the second half.

“They defended us pretty well in the first half,” Garcia said of the Pirates. “But then we figured out their weakness on one side and that made the difference.”

Garcia also said his team talked about “controlling the ball” at halftime as well.

“We talked about not letting them have the ball, and we were able to keep the ball,” he said.

Christian Torres and Gerardo Robles scored two goals each for Mac-Hi, and Alex Saldana and Luis Saldana each scored once. Torres also had a pair of assists during the Pioneers’ strong second half and Robles was credited with one assist.

Mauricio Gomez earned the shutout in goal, although he was only asked to make five stops.

“He wasn’t very busy,” Garcia said of his goalkeeper. “He didn’t have to do too much, although he made one very amazing diving stop.”

The Pioneers had about 15 shots on goal, the coach said.

Mac-Hi is now 13-1-1 on the season and doesn’t return to action until next Tuesday when it entertains a team yet to be determined in the first round of Oregon’s Class 4A state playoffs.

Riverside is also 13-1-1 on the season and the Pirates will be at home for their first game of the Class 3A playoffs.

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