MONTESANO — A penalty kick gave Elma the upper hand in the first East County boys soccer showdown with Montesano.
Edgar Hermenegildo converted a penalty kick in the second half to give the Eagles a 1-0 win over the Bulldogs in an Evergreen 1A League match Wednesday night at Rottle Field.
Early in the second half, Hermenegildo went one-on-one with Bulldogs’ goalkeeper Brett Cooper and made a slick move toward the net.
Cooper reached out and grabbed Hermenegildo, which prevented the goal, but resulted in a penalty kick. Hermenegildo punched the shot past Cooper into the left side of the goal, giving Elma the only goal it would need.
Cooper made a couple of diving saves in the second half to keep Montesano within striking distance, but the Bulldogs struggled to control the ball, and could not score on Elma’s tough defense.
“It was a hard-fought victory” Elma head coach Carson Seaberg said. ”I thought we had a lot of good chances that we just didn’t put away, but we controlled the game in a lot of ways. We were pleased with that, but we’d like to be more efficient on the offensive end, and convert some more of those scoring opportunities, but for the most part we were very pleased with how the game went.”
Elma had 13 shots on goal in the match compared to just six for Montesano.
“One thing that we could have done better is shown in the 50-50 balls,” said Montesano assistant Scott Rockey, who was filling in for absent head coach Jeff Lenherr. “Elma won more 50-50’s than we did, and that is always a factor in which way the game is game is going to go. That’s what we’ll work on in the coming weeks, showing to those balls, and winning possession. With possession comes goals.”
Shortly after Hermenegildo scored, Elma freshman forward Cory Marsh suffered a leg injury when Cooper dove to cover the ball near the goal. Marsh’s leg was caught under Cooper’s body, and Marsh’s momentum carried him forward, bending his leg in an awkward position. Marsh was carted off the field and left in an ambulance.
“It’s a pretty common way for a striker to get hurt,” Seabergt said of the injury. “The goalkeeper is on the ground and if you get a cleat in the ground and go over the top, your leg can’t hold up to the weight of your body. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes. We’ll know more later.”
Each team was issued one yellow card in the match. Late in the first half, Elma’s Trevor Hann received a card for dangerous infringement on the goalkeeper when he made contact with Cooper. Late in the second half, Montesano’s Tim St. Onge got a little bit too aggressive on a slide tackle, earning himself a card as well.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday. Elma (3-2) will travel to Rochester, and the Bulldogs (2-3, 2-4) will host Tenino.