The Mustangs trip St. Helens; Kingsmen prevail at Sherwood

by: JON HOUSE - The Rex Putnam Kingsmen celebrated hard in mid-September after sophomore Tommy Ciobanasiu put the lone goal in the net in a 1-0 win over 2012 Class 4A state finalist La Salle. The Kingsmen were in form again last Thursday, when they won a league game at Sherwood, 4-3 in overtime.Milwaukie and Putnam boys soccer teams were in great form last Thursday, as they kicked off their Northwest Oregon Conference seasons with wins.

The Mustangs defeated St. Helens 2-1 in overtime, while Putnam got the best of Sherwood, winning a 4-3 nailbiter, also in overtime.

Junior Jesus Ayala and senior goalkeeper Randall Sam were the heroes for Milwaukie.

Ayala put the ball into the side netting from 30 yards out six minutes into the overtime for the winning goal. It was Ayala’s first goal of the season.

Sam made five saves in the game, the biggest coming with two minutes remaining in overtime.

“He dove to his left and pushed the ball outside the post,” said Milwaukie coach Roberto Aguilar. “It was a game-saver.”

Junior Alex Alfaro scored Milwaukie’s only other goal 15 minutes into the game, heading in a cross from senior forward Diego Solis.

Aguilar said he was happy with Ayala’s goal, but more pleased with the goal made by Alfaro.

“[On Alfaro’s goal] we had five or six passes,” Aguilar said. “We moved the ball side-to-side and possessed the ball, instead of going direct.”

St. Helens scored its lone goal just before halftime.

“We’ve been improving,” Aguilar said. “The team has been figuring out how to make it happen. They’re sticking together and attempting team play.”

Last week’s win was Milwaukie’s third in a row, after a 0-4 start to the season.

Milwaukie (3-4-0, 1-0) plays Liberty (2-6-0, 0-1) on the road this Thursday.

Kingsmen catch

fire on offense

After scoring only seven goals in their first seven games, Putnam’s offense showed up big-time on Oct. 3, and the Kingsmen won a 4-3 overtime thriller in their Northwest Oregon Conference opener, played at Sherwood.

“The guys finally put it together on offense,” said Putnam coach Mitch Wing. “They were firing on-frame all night long. If their keeper hadn’t made so many saves, we would have scored three or four more goals.”

Wing credited Elliot Bixby and Tommy Ciobanasiu with controlling much of the play in the middle of the field, and setting up the offense.

The Kingsmen had plenty of heroes. Things looked grim when Sherwood went up 3-2, scoring on a breakaway, with just five minutes remaining in regulation.

But in the 77th minute, Oscar Gutierrez found Alexis Sanchez open near the goal.

Sherwood’s keeper got a hand on Sanchez’ shot and deflected the ball. But Sanchez kept after the ball on the rebound, and buried it in the back of the net on a follow-up.

Gutierrez found Bixby wide open 25 yards from the goal 14 minutes into the overtime. Bixby fired a bullet to the left-hand corner of the goal. The shot was so hard that Sherwood’s keeper didn’t have a chance, and the Kingsmen held off the hard-pressing Bowmen for the 4-3 victory.

“Jesse Martinez was huge for us in the overtime,” Wing said. “He made a couple of big stops that saved the day.”

Wing also had praise for defenders Kegan Makinster, Oscar Herrera and Adrian Torres.

Bixby scored the game’s lone goal of the first half on a penalty kick, after Sanchez was fouled while attempting a bicycle kick.

Sherwood tied things up early in the second half.

Ciobanasiu sent a free kick over the wall and just out of reach of Sherwood’s keeper to put Putnam up 2-1 near the midpoint of the second half. But Sherwood answered a short time later to knot the score at 2-2, and the two teams battled to the end.

Putnam (3-5-0, 1-0) returns to conference play this Thursday, hosting Sandy (1-7-0, 0-1).

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