Defensive effort not enough for the Estacada boys
Gladstone scores the winning goal midway through the first half
A respectable defensive showing was not enough to lead the Estacada boys soccer team to success last week against visiting Gladstone. The Rangers were abandoned by their offense as they fell victim to the Gladiators by a score of 2-0.
In terms of scoring chances, the game was dramatically one-sided in Gladstones favor. The Gladiators were in the face of Estacada goalkeeper Tomas Cunha every few minutes and they threatened to score routinely throughout the night. Cunha was forced to leap and dive all over the box as if he were in a chaotic game of dodgeball. His agility and coordination allowed him to make several tough saves, but with so many balls being drilled his way, a few were bound to get the better of him.
Cunha managed to fend off every shot in the first 21 minutes, then Gladstone found a hole. On a corner kick from the right side, Gladstone midfielder Arturo Ibarra stationed himself a few feet from the near post, which put him in the right place at the right time. Gladstones Andrew Gross booted a strike from the corner that never got more than a few feet off the ground. The low ball ricocheted off Ibarras shin guard and into the net before Cunha could even react.
About 8:30 into the second half, the Gladiators again called on Gross to deliver from the corner. On this attempt, Gross gave it a little more loft and Victor Ibarra deflected it into the net.
Gladstone never let the Rangers get a sniff of the goal, so the two-goal advantage was never in jeopardy. Whenever the Rangers pushed the ball deep into Gladstone territory, the Gladiators pushed it right back out.
Estacadas chances were lacking in the first half, but looks at the net were scarcer in the second half. Only two shots reached Gladstone goalkeeper Harrison Jarret, and both of those were kicked from more than 40 yards out and floated right into his arms. Estacada had two corner kicks from the left side, but each hooked out of bounds before reaching the goal.
Estacada had no time to dwell on the loss, because it had to travel to face last seasons state runner-up, La Salle Prep, on Thursday. The Rangers stayed on the road and took on Madras on Tuesday. They play their third consecutive road game Tuesday at North Marion before returning home Tuesday, Oct. 22.