Revenge truly sweet for Honkers
Pioneer High actually put more balls in the net for scores Tuesday night at Geweke Field. But it was the host Yuba City boys soccer team that won the crucial Tri-County Conference showdown, 4-2.
In a game that saw more cards dealt than a seven-card stud poker game, the host Honkers (13-2, 5-1) pulled into a first place tie in the TCC with Pioneer.
“We needed that one,” Yuba City coach Paul Shank said. “It will be interesting when we go down there to play them.”
Tuesday's game was bizarre in a number of aspects. For starters, the Patriots' Julio Salas scored two goals against his own team.
The first Salas score, 13 minutes into the game, came after Osvaldo Garcia took a shot on goal following an indirect kick from Nate Gutierrez. Garcia failed to find the net, but Salas did, apparently trying to slowly kick the ball back to his goalie but instead into the net.
That tied the game, 1-1, following the first strange play of the game. Pioneer's Abram Prado scored eight minutes into the contest when his shot on goal slipped through Honker goalie Nikola Dokic's fingers and rolled lazily between Dokic's legs and into the net.
With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Salas scored again against his own team to snap the stalemate. The Honkers' Benito Sandoval hammered a cross right in front of the goal and Salas rifled a hard shot past his shocked keeper.
With less than two minutes to play before halftime, Yuba City recorded its first real goal. Garcia crossed the ball to Lalo Paredes, who drilled the ball into the net.
With its 3-1 lead, Yuba City came out in the second half and dominated the middle and played tough defensively. Shank praised the play of Roberto Paras and Sandoval at midfield, and Jake Dickerson, Sim Randhawa and Gutierrez on defense.
With five minutes to go in the game, Pioneer broke through the tight Honker defense for a second goal. That goal seemed to spark the Patriots, who suddenly began playing with reckless abandon.
“They were out of control,” Shank said of the Patriots. “They were (ticked off). One, they were losing, and two, they were upset at the refs.”
The officials dictated the play with more than a dozen yellow cards, including a red card given to the Patriot goalie after the game for something he said.
“There was no flow to this game at all because of all of the yellow cards,” Shank said.
Yuba City scored the final goal in the waning seconds of the match. Ben Milner crossed the ball to Sandoval, who collided with the Pioneer goalie. Sandoval broke clear and managed to sneak a shot inside the post.
Honker goalie Dokic went from goat, when he allowed the first goal, to hero with some spectacular saves, Shank said. On one of his saves, Dokic dove to his right to punch the ball away.
Garcia had a strong game up top, Shank said, as did Sandoval, Paredes and Andres Navarro.
All of the yellow cards took their toll. Yuba City sweeper Dickerson picked up two yellows, meaning he will have to sit out the Honkers' next game against Woodland.
“Hopefully his loss won't hurt us too bad,” Shank said.
The Appeal-Democrat's Richard Myers can be reached at 749-4714 or by e-mail at email@example.com.