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Parkrose opens league play with a 3-0 shutout win in boys soccer

The Sandy boys’ soccer team had its heart set on starting league play with a bang as it hosted Parkrose on Thursday in the Northwest Oregon Conference opener, but the Broncos were not very gracious guests. Parkrose was too much for the Pioneers and it coasted to a 3-0 win.

“First of all, we did not play well,” Sandy coach Garet Luebbert said. “But, Parkrose is a solid team this year, and I knew it would be a good game. They have one of the best center midfielders in league, and another complimentary player with a lot of speed.”

Parkrose was one of the best class 5A teams in non-conference competition and brought quite a resume into the first NWOC matchup. The Broncos went 4-2 in the preseason, with both losses coming by one goal. They led the state in goals scored with 37 and netted at least seven goals in half of their non-league contests. Last year, the Broncos only won four matches and scored 18 total goals the entire season.

Parkrose was just as impressive defensively and was one of seven 5A schools to allow eight goals or fewer in the preseason. The Broncos’ defense was the key to their triumph over Sandy.

“The last couple of years they have really struggled defensively, but they had a player move into the district this year that will be one of the top defenders in league, Gustavo Torres,” Luebbert said.

Torres wasted no time announcing himself to Sandy and the NWOC, and he was shy about it. Torres was animated and confrontational throughout the match, seemingly to everyone in sight. He was constantly in somebody’s face.

“Gustavo is a very loud, and often obnoxious, player that was their vocal leader,” Luebbert said. “Gustavo confronted several of our players and fans in a negative manner.”

Torres’ antics were not graceful or classy by any stretch of the imagination, but they worked. Sandy looked flustered at times by what Torres was doing, and it made a difference for Parkrose’s defense.

Sandy’s defensive effort was generally good, but a few breakdowns gave the Broncos the opportunities they needed to sink their three goals.

“We did have a couple of simple defensive mistakes that cost us on the scoreboard, but I think the story of the match was more about how we handled, or struggled to handle, a physical and emotional atmosphere,” Luebbert said.

Sandy will be back on the field looking for its first NWOC win at Rex Putnam on Thursday. Last season, the Pioneers took eventual league-champion Putnam to overtime before falling, 3-1.

“We have several senior leaders on this team, and I am confident that we will bounce back from this disappointing loss,” Luebbert said.

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