W-P opens soccer season with victories

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DAYTON — The Waitsburg-Prescott boys soccer team downed Walla Walla Valley Academy and Dayton, as Ernesto Valdovinos netted two goals in each game, at the Dayton Jamboree Wednesday.

W-P assistant coach Jay Potts said the coaching staff modified its system this year to cater to Valdovinos’ strengths.

Obviously, the new game plan worked for W-P, which beat WWVA, 2-0, and Dayton, 6-1.

“Ernesto looked really sharp yesterday but he looks sharp everyday,” Potts said. “As long as we can get the rest of the parts in place, he’ll be free to do a lot more than last year.”

The jamboree, which consisted of two 40-minute games, was season-opening action for W-P.

In the first game against WWVA, W-P’s aggressive defense held the Knights to only five shots on goal, Potts said.

With a limited roster due to eligibility isseus, Potts said W-P was forced to call on a lot of young players.

“We had some new kids in there,” Potts said. “We have a lot of youth. It was good to see how they reacted. We had 14 shots on goal in half a game — we were pretty happy to see that. We were happy to see our movement.”

Potts said the team expects to have the full roster by Tuesday, but it was good to get some of the younger players some playing time.

Against Dayton, freshman Ivan Figueroa matched Valdovinos with two goals of his own in the 6-1 win. Potts said the team’s passing improved, which led to a whopping 17 shots on goal.

“Ernesto — he’s our hub,” Potts said. “But it doesn’t work if we don’t have weapons around him. Ivan is a freshman and he has a big leg. We did shoot a lot and not all of them were accurate, but we’re working on that.”

Dayton scored on a penalty kick around the 27th minute, Potts said, but W-P goal keeper Christian Caro kept the Bulldogs in check for the majority of the match.

Although Potts said it was good to see the underclassmen get some playing time, the team relied on junior midfielder Jose Peniagua to get the W-P attack going.

“Instead of having more experience around them, we like (that) they’re having to do it without that experience,” Potts said. “Peniagua is a leader and he did a great job of orchestrating the defensive and offensive ends.”

W-P next hosts Boardman at 4 p.m. Friday.

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