McManamon's second-half goal gives Tigard a 2-1 victory

by: DAN BROOD - TOWARD THE GOAL -- Tigard junior Sean McManamon hits the ball toward the Glencoe goal in Tuesday's league opener.HILLSBORO — It was a win the Tigers really wanted.

As it turned out, it was also a win they really needed.

And, thanks to an impressive second-half performance, they got that win.

The Tigard High School boys soccer team opened its Pacific Conference schedule by notching a 2-1 win over Glencoe in a match played Tuesday at Hare Field.

“This was pretty good,” said Tigard junior Sean McManamon, who scored the game-winning goal in the second half. “It was a good way to start league.”

Glencoe dropped to 6-2 on the season with the league-opening loss.

Tigard moved to 1-7 on the season with the win.

The Tigers were 3-3-1 in non-league play, but it looks as though Tigard will have to forfeit its non-league wins and ties due to unknowingly using an ineligible player in those contests.

“That had us fired-up for this game,” McManamon said. “We still have the opportunity to win league.”by: DAN BROOD - HEAD GAMES -- Tigard senior defender Brian Josephson (right) goes up over Glencoe's Aron Plancarte to head the ball during Tuesday's match. The Tigers scored a 2-1 victory in the league opener.

“It’s unfortunate,” Tigard coach Tracy Hasson said. “But we can still win the league title. And this was a great way to start league.”

And the Tigers got off to a strong start in their league opener.

The match was just over a minute old when McManamon had a long throw-in toward the Glencoe goal.

Tigard sophomore Josheph Lea, who was to the left of the goal, helped deflect the ball off a Crimson Tide defender and into the net, giving the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead.

Tigard got a couple of shots on goal from junior Charles Pettijean and one by sophomore Jake O’Brien in the next 20 minutes of action, but the Tigers couldn’t increase their lead.

Tigard also got a key play by junior goalkeeper Joni Mercado, who ran out to dive on the ball right before Glencoe senior Cody Newsom was about to take an open shot at the Tiger goal.

But, as the first half wore down, the Crimson Tide started to grab momentum.

Glencoe tied the match at 1-1 on a goal by Vincent Merrinello coming with 8:47 left in the first half.

The Crimson Tide seemed to control action in the final minutes of the first half. The home team got a free kick shot on goal by senior Aron Plancarte from 40 yards out, with Mercado having to leap to tip the ball over the crossbar.

But, whatever momentum Glencoe gained late in the first half, Tigard quickly took it back — in a big way — throughout the second half.

“We were fired up,” McManamon said of Tigard’s second-half surge. “It was 1-1, but we knew we had them and that we could win.”

McManamon, Lea, Pettijean and junior Javier Sanchez-Figueroa all fired shots at the Glencoe goal in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the match remained tied at 1-1.

But, soon after, McManamon and the Tigers changed all of that.

With 19:47 left in the match, McManamon, after taking a pass from O’Brien, hit a hard, spin-around ground shot from 25 yards out, with the ball deflecting off Glencoe keeper Ryan Farrell’s hands and bounding over the goal line, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

“That felt good,” McManamon said with a smile. “It’s my first league goal.”

From there, the Tigard defense, including senior Brian Josephson, junior Mick Whitehead and Pettijean, among others, helped close out the 2-1 league-opening victory.

“Not bad,” Hasson said. “Our goals weren’t the prettiest goals, but we really controlled the tempo in the second half. We’re a team that wants to compete, and this was huge for us.”

Tigard will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when it hosts Century in a league match starting at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, the Tigers will travel to McMinnville for a 7 p.m. league contest.

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