One final home match before a six-match league road trip allowed Aberdeen to shuffle through its lineup and get some work in against Montesano on Saturday night.
Dominating possession throughout, the Bobcats fine-tuned their scoring touch en route to a 3-0 non-league boys soccer match win over the Bulldogs at Stewart Field.
Isaiah Contreras, Robby Lewis and Cesar Corona netted markers for Aberdeen (3-0), which won’t return home for a match until April 17.
“It was a little rough for a non-league game, but we passed pretty well,” AHS head coach Larry Fleming said. “We’re showing signs of the possession and the passing game. There are encouraging signs and now we start that long road trip.”
While the Bulldogs (2-1) had to chase and pick their spots to challenge the Bobcats, Montesano head coach Mike Malpass wasn’t displeased with his team’s effort against a Class 2A squad.
“It was an adventure, but I’m happy; we did some very good things out there,” Montesano head coach Mike Malpass said. “We knew Aberdeen is skillful, a good quality team. They’re at home, so they’re comfortable. The guys kept their spirits up, kept their heads up high. We just had 2-3 mistakes in the back row.”
Contreras made it three matches in a row with a goal by finding an open space to take advantage of a corner kick in the 22nd minute. Freshman midfielder Lewis delivered the corner kick, finding the sophomore forward on the far left post for a header into the upper left corner. This is the second time this season a Lewis corner kick was converted for a goal by Contreras.
Prior to the goal, the Bulldogs had found a way to weather the Bobcats’ initial push. Aberdeen pinned Monte into its defensive zone for most of the opening 20 minutes before play coagulated into the midfield.
Monte’s Brandon Lovell had one of his team’s best chances to get onto the scoreboard following Contreras’ goal. On the run, Lovell unleashed a hard 18-yard shot that forced a diving save by AHS goalkeeper Andres Valdes in the 24th minute. This was Valdes’ lone save of the match.
Lewis notched his first varsity goal of his career with 3 minutes left in the first half. Sophomore defender Todd Caba sent a long ball to Contreras, who controlled the ball inside the penalty area for Lewis, who volleyed his shot into an open left-side of the net past Monte goalkeeper Jeff Varness.
Leading 2-0 at the half, Aberdeen was in control and both teams liberally shuffled in players.
“We moved around a lot of guys; I tried (sweeper) Seth Caba at forward and Logan Lopez did a nice job at sweeper,” Fleming said. “We suited up 20 guys for varsity today and they all played. It was kind of fun.”
“We tried guys in different positions, so we had to adapt to some injuries and the guys took to it well,” Malpass said. “We’re going to come away from tonight with some good thoughts for the future, what we can do next week.”
Aberdeen again had most of the chances in the second half. A flurry of shots came midway through the second half, including the final goal of the match.
In the 61st minute, freshman midfielder Cesar Corona corralled a Caba free kick and fired a rocket shot that went off Varness’ chest and into the goal. One minute later, Caba took a quick free kick from 20 yards out and Varness denied him with a flying save to the far right post.
On the ensuing corner kick, Lewis sent the ball dangerously into the middle of the penalty area, where defender Octavio Sanchez got a header shot that Varness pushed onto the crossbar for a save.
Varness, who earned praise by Malpass for his efforts, finished with five saves.
Fleming cited Caba and Sanchez for their work on offense and defense. He also cited Contreras and Lewis for their efforts as well. Caba came up injured late in the match with an apparent kneecap injury. He left the stadium on crutches.
In the junior varsity match, Aberdeen won, 9-0. Terrance Robin scored four goals, with Angel Barragan, Alejandro Felipe, Miguel Torres, David Housden and Jesse Paik added one goal each.
On Tuesday, Aberdeen travels to River Ridge, while Montesano travels to Hoquiam.