Buffs lose to North Marion, 5-4
The Madras boys soccer team let one get away from them late in a 5-4 loss to North Marion, a Tri-Valley Conference match, Thursday in Madras.
After freshman Gustavo Pacheco tied the match at 3-3 in the 58th minute with his third goal, North Marion tucked two shots away off defensive mistakes, the latter coming with five minutes left to play.
The Buffs made one final surge with time ticking away, and sophomore David Madrigal blasted a shot past the North Marion goalkeeper with a minute remaining in the match.
That, however, was one goal shy of what the Buffs needed to steal a tie.
"It's pretty frustrating," Madras head coach Clark Jones said. "It's one thing to get beat, but it's another thing to beat ourselves, and I think that's what happened."
Jones said most of the goals North Marion had came from simple mistakes, whether it was from a defender stepping the wrong way or confusion on corner kicks.
The Huskies' fourth goal came from a corner kick. No one challenged a North Marion player in the box, allowing him to leap in the air with ease and head the ball in the back of the net.
"We weren't able to climb out of the hole we dug ourselves," Jones said.
The Buffs played catch-up nearly the entire day after North Marion slotted a goal in the fourth minute, then tacked on another in the 29th before they were able to get on the board.
A minute later, Pacheco broke through with his first goal. After beating a defender, Pacheco raced down the right flank and deked the North Marion goalkeeper so bad he nearly fell over, leaving a wide open net for the freshman to easily put it away.
Pacheco scored again six minutes later by being in the right place at the right time. He crashed the net from the top of the 18-yard box and cleaned up a rebound from Carlos Garcia's shot that was saved to tie the match at 2-2.
That was the first bit of offense from Garcia in the match. He started the match playing a defender spot, something the team decided they wanted to do before the match, after some advice from Coach Jones.
"I gave them some input, and they wanted to start defense-heavy," Jones said. "We rotated people around and were pretty balanced all the way through."
In the 50th minute, Pacheco netted his hat trick with a blistering shot that tied the match, this time at 3-3.
Madrigal broke free from a defender and collected a pass from Garcia, then ripped a shot from about 15 yards out to the top-left portion of the net to give the Buffs at least a chance at tying the match before the final whistle, but there just wasn't enough time left.
Even with the great day offensively, the Madras defense just has to play better and limit mistakes if they want to get into postseason play.
"We took one wrong step, and it could have been the difference between a tie and a loss," Jones said. "North Marion is a good team, don't get me wrong; they are well-coached and are coached to score. It's just hard to come back from something like that."
From here, it's going to be a climb for the Buffs to qualify for the playoffs. Jones said it's definitely doable, but they are going to have to knock off some of the league's best in order to do it.
"We've just got to work hard," Jones said. "We're going to have to do something and get a couple upsets in there. It's our goal to get to the playoffs."
The four goals in Thursday's match were the most the Buffs haved scored all years since the 5-0 win against Redmond to start the season was wiped out due to an OSAA violation.
Tuesday, the Buffs traveled to Gladstone and lost, 3-0.
Madras is 1-2 in the Tri-Valley Conference after they picked up a 2-1 win against Estacada last Tuesday.