Aberdeen head coach Larry Fleming would like a new script for his boys soccer team, but he wouldn’t change the ending against Tumwater on Tuesday night.
Alex Barene scored what turned into the Bobcats’ lone goal in the 26th minute and the hosts dominated possession and play in the second half to cap a 1-0 Evergreen 2A win over the T-Birds at Stewart Field.
The T-Birds did get one or two chances in the final minutes, but for the most part, it was the Bobcats’ match.
“I hate to beat a dead horse over and over again after every game, but I love we create so many chances, pass so well in the midfield, but we choose to pass instead of shoot and not convert those chances,” AHS head coach Larry Fleming said. “We’re getting better with the chances and close plays. I was surprised by the amount of possession we had — and we’ve done that in a bunch of games only to see teams like Black Hills tie it in the last minute. I’d love to score more, but a 1-0 win still counts as a win.”
Inside the final two minutes of the match, Tumwater’s Jacob Bonner tried to snatch a tie in regulation with a 55-yard blast. The shot dipped at the last second and hit the crossbar over Aberdeen goalkeeper Andres Valdes, but stayed out.
The threat was the first of two in the last gasps of the match. The T-Birds’ Jacob Irwin had a run on the goal and had an open look from 25 yards out when the Bobcat defense parted away from him. However, the shot was shanked wide for a goal kick.
For the vast majority of the second half, Aberdeen (7-2, 9-2) pushed Tumwater (1-8, 2-10) into its defensive zone and pummeled it with shots, runs and pressure. T-Bird goalkeeper Dayton Newell benefited from a strong defensive game by his defenders and wayward attempts by the Bobcats.
In the 49th minute, Newell was beaten on a corner-kick header by Isaiah Contreras. Newell slipped as the shot went behind him, destined for the left side of the net. However, defender Blake Lesh cleared the ball off the line to clear the threat.
Mateus Duarte, Victor Corona, Seth Caba, Cesar Corona, Barene and Contreras each had chances against Newell in the second half. Caba nearly created a second AHS goal in the 61st minute when he gathered in a loose ball and sent it across the goal face to the far right side. Midfielder Robby Lewis was one step too slow to get a foot on the attempt.
“Our control wasn’t perfect, but it was really good today,” Fleming said. “This is usually the time of the year where freshmen don’t play like freshman. We rotated a lot of guys in the midfield, because there’s a lot of running in our system. It works with our depth. We just really played an overall team game.”
Barene made sure the second half was filled with Aberdeen possession when he knocked home the lone goal of the match. Off a feed from Victor Junco, Barene beat a sliding Newell to deposit the ball into the low right corner for the marker in the 26th minute.
Both teams traded chances and pressure before Barene’s goal and nearly pulled off long-range goals on shots near the end of the first half.
Tumwater’s Gavin Trotter blasted a midfield shot that Valdes had to push onto the crossbar in the 39th minute. In extra time, Caba had a 45-yard free kick that he sent toward Newell, who pushed it over the crossbar at the stroke of halftime.
Tumwater won the junior varsity match, 1-0.
On Thursday, Aberdeen stays home to greet Chehalis.