The schedule-makers would chuckle at this, but Aberdeen enjoyed its first Evergreen 2A boys soccer match at Stewart Field on Thursday, especially since it won’t get another one for another month.
Aberdeen opened its league schedule by controlling possession and threatening Black Hills’ goal, but sophomore Isaiah Contreras’ goal off a Robby Lewis corner kick in the 14th minute was the only marker in a 1-0 victory.
After Saturday’s non-league match with Montesano, the Bobcats will embark on a six-match road trip through the Evergreen 2A. The next home match for Aberdeen (1-0, 2-0) will be April 17 against River Ridge.
“As we continue to get better, during this long road trip, I hope we can win as many as we can and then come on strong in the second half of the season (at home),” AHS head coach Larry Fleming said. “Overall, with the guys still figuring each other out, we played well. We played pretty solid.”
Playing on a wider field and artificial turf allowed the Bobcats to play their style of soccer — short passes, possession and build up toward the opponent’s goal. The Wolves (0-1, 0-1) found themselves pinned into their defensive zone for most of the first half.
The match’s eventual lone goal was a result of Aberdeen’s pressure on Black Hills’ defense.
Following a run of shots by junior Victor Junco and senior Seth Caba, Aberdeen earned a corner kick when Caba’s shot was deflected just wide.
Freshman midfielder Lewis took the corner kick and delivered a dangerous ball into the heart of the Black Hills’ penalty area. Inside a scrum of players, Contreras got enough of a kick on the ball to sent it away from Wolves goalkeeper Brock Leeper for the marker.
Lewis and Caba nearly made it 2-0 minutes later on separate runs at Leeper. Lewis controlled a loose ball 20 yards in front of goal and volleyed a shot that forced a leaping Leeper save. Caba followed with a run from his defensive sweeper spot — fed by passes from Contreras and Alex Barene — for a shot on goal saved by Leeper.
“We had about eight real chances at goal,” Fleming said. “We created a bunch of chances, more than we did (against Hoquiam in the season opener). In the second half, Black Hills turned it up a bit and created some for itself. With as many chances as we had, we should have scored a few more goals. That’s something we have to work on and we’re young.”
Black Hills used the halftime break to find a way through Aberdeen’s defense. It came in spurts and with plenty of fire, but the Wolves made the Bobcats goalkeeper Andres Valdes work in the second half.
The Wolves’ Derick Cutler forced all three of Valdes’ saves on the night, including a hard shot and save early in the second half. Cutler’s teammates also put some pressure on the Bobcat defense, but long-range shots were the only delivery method against Valdes.
Junco had two dangerous chances against Leeper, including a loose ball shot from point-blank range that he couldn’t get enough on in the 73rd minute.
Caba nearly delivered a free-kick goal midway through the second half that Leeper got a hand onto to push wide.
In the junior varsity match, Aberdeen won, 5-0. Angel Barragan, Alejandro Felipe, Jose Gomez and Jesse Palk scored for the Bobcats, who also got an own goal from the Wolves.