The state’s top defense added another shutout to its sterling resume.
In Tuesday night’s boys soccer match at Field of Dreams, Corvallis High’s back line turned in another 80 minutes of near perfection as the Spartans took down rival Crescent Valley 2-0 in the Mid-Willamette Conference opener for both teams. It’s the fourth straight shutout for CHS (7-0-1, 1-0), which has surrendered just two goals — the fewest in the state among all classifications — during the 2017 season.
“They are very disciplined,” first-year CV (5-2, 0-1) coach Kyle Calder said of the Spartans’ defense. “They know where they need to be all the time, and it’s extremely difficult to break someone down who is always in the right spot. With that they track extremely well, they are just fast and they are good on the ball. It’s all you would ever want in a defender.”
Edgar Monroy scored a pair of first-half goals to stake the Spartans to a 2-0 lead. Both were close-range shots that CV keeper Luca Greeven was powerless to stop.
CHS’ defense did the rest in a physical match.
“This rivalry is never a pretty game, and that was certainly the case tonight,” Spartans coach Chad Foley said. “It’s about a lot of heart and energy and emotion. I thought that we, for the most part, handled ourselves well.”
CV, which hasn’t defeated the Spartans since 2013, couldn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity to seize an early lead.
While dribbling in the left corner of the 18-yard box, John Sarna drew contact from a pair of CHS defenders and fell to the ground with 36:10 remaining in the half. The head official awarded CV a penalty kick.
Hecter Ibarra-Nunez’s penalty shot sailed high over the crossbar, splitting the uprights as the Spartans celebrated an early break.
“Obviously you don’t expect to get that in the first five minutes,” Calder said. “So it was kind of like, ‘Hey, if you make it, great. If not you wouldn’t have probably gotten that anyway.’ So yeah, if we convert that the mentality can change. But overall you wouldn’t expect to get that in the first five minutes anyway.”
Monroy netted his first goal off a pass from Avery Whipple with 12:12 left in the half. The sophomore forward received the ball in the middle of the box and found an opening for the easy finish.
Eleven-plus minutes later, Monroy outran the CV defense from left to right and placed the ball in the back-left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
“I just tried to go through everyone,” Monroy said. “I got the ball, found a lot of space and finished it.”
Added Foley: “Edgar plays that position for a reason and that’s his role, just like our defense played their role and ended up getting their shutout. Everyone has a role; Edgar’s is to score goals for us and find assists, and he did that tonight.”
Greeven collected 11 saves to keep the Raiders within striking distance. The junior had seven saves after the break.
“It’s tough as a keeper because you feel like you’re there for everything and you should be saving everything, but you can’t be,” Calder said. “Their goals were from maybe six to eight yards out, and as a keeper there’s just nothing you can do. He’s the only reason it was as close as it was.”
Both teams resume MWC play Thursday with CV traveling to Dallas while the Spartans host Lebanon.