Sutter holds off Gridley for tie
One coach chalked it up as being an unlucky day and the other gave all the credit to his goalkeeper.
No matter how one looks at it, Thursday's Butte View League match up between Gridley and Sutter High's boys soccer teams could've gone either way.
In all, four yellow cards were issued during the match and when the dust cleared all the Bulldogs and Huskies had to show for it was a 2-2 draw.
"It was an unlucky day, man," said Gridley coach Jesse Barajas. "It's always tough to play at Sutter, but today we let them get away with it."
Gridley (4-13-2, 3-7-1) struck for the first goal in the game's 10th minute when forward Cali Garcia made a long pass ahead to Pedro Amezcua, who dribbled past the Sutter goalkeeper and found the back of the net from close range.
Sutter (2-9-4, 1-6-1) knotted the game 11 minutes later when Ville Roitto lined up for a free kick from 25-yards out. Gridley's wall deflected the shot, however Jonathan Zavala was on the spot and punched the ball in to tie the game at one apiece.
The Bulldogs answered back with another goal in the 21st minute, but it came with a little touch of luck when John Paul Novarro lined up to make a throw in from just inside midfield and wasn't pleased with his effort.
Novarro shook his head and belted out a scream when the ball left his hands, but the throw was nearly perfect as the ball trickled through the Sutter defense and found the foot of Christopher Garcia. Garcia did the rest and sent the ball past the Sutter keeper to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
But the Huskies equalized once again with just a minute left in the half when Hector Ramirez made a long pass ahead to Roitto, who outhustled the Gridley defense to tie the game at halftime.
The second half was all Bulldogs, who outshot the Huskies 12-3 after the intermission. The only thing that kept Sutter in the game was the stellar play of goalkeeper Benny Padilla, who made 11 saves in the second half, many of them off rocket shots from in close.
"In the second half he played a fantastic game and did a great job," Sutter coach Gurdeep Bhattal said of Padilla's effort. "We gave up two goals on mental mistakes in the first half, but he made some great saves in the second."
Gridley's coach agreed.
"(Danny Ramos) and (Mauricio Tinoco) did everything right, the goals just never came," said Barajas, who praised the defensive play of Adrian Espinoza and Zach Solis for chasing Roitto all over the field. "Their goalkeeper played a great game and kept them in it all the way through."