YAKIMA, May 17 — The Tacoma Tide was sluggish on a hot day in Yakima. Three goals ran past goalkeeper Jordan Jennings before the Tide fought back with one of their own and a heap of pressure.
By the time the ball was kicked off on the grass pitch of Marquette Stadium, the weather was cooler and perfect for a relaxed fan; it was hot for the players. Due to the heat, both teams started tentatively. The first half hour was mostly spent in the midfield as a feeling out process. Rory Agu nearly found a quick flick over a charging Yakima keeper but the ball was flung too hard and high. Taylor Mueller took a free kick near the half-line. The ball was launched near the box and Spencer Schomaker flicked well with his head into the path of Agu. It was a race between forward and goalkeeper. Agu won the race, but not the conversion. Yakima had a chance or two that were tackled well by Daniel Scott, the new Tide centerback.
In the 42nd minute, the deadlock was broken. Shadows were beginning to cover the field and a quick counter attack for the Yakima Reds felt like a shadow had swept through for a goal. The brisk move found a 2 v 2 in the back. With blistering pace, Junior Garcia ran across the face of the goal and placed a ball with the outside of his right foot past a rushing Jennings. It was Yakima’s first shot of the match.
Much of the same came in the 2nd half. Ruben Orozco, playing in front of family and friends from Yakima, recorded a nice drive in the 63rd minute. The shot was saved comfortably but it did signify a slight spark.
The spark or sputtering flame was put out around ten minutes later. After a 1 v 1 save in the 68th minute, Yakima again countered and this time no save could be mustered. It was Garcia’s speed, the catalyst, and Jacob Sagare’s decisive run and one touch volley for the tap in. Sagare played for the University of Washington before stints with the Sounders and Timbers of the USL-1. His quality was evident on the night.
The Tide increased pressure and intensity with 20 minutes remaining. A corner kick yielded a point blank opportunity but it was blocked before netting home. With the Tide’s focus forward, the Reds put the nail in the coffin. Once again, on a counter attack, the Reds beat the Tide offside trap and left Jennings helpless for goal #3.
The Tide did finally get one back in the 81st minute. Brayton Knapp started the move with a beautiful bending ball to the right wing. Daniel Phelps, a 70th minute substitute beat his man and crossed into the box. A few different players made contact before the ball squeaked out to the far post. Machael David smashed it home.
The last ten minutes were an onslaught of attaches. A series of long throw-ins, free kicks, and throw-ins whipped wide and over the post. In the end, it was too little, too late.
The Tide return to the friendly confines of Curtis HS Stadium next weekend for back to back game nights. Friday night, the Tide host the Ogden Outlaws, and Saturday, they take on rivals, BYU. Both games are just $1 for students wearing a soccer jersey.
Submitted by Jon Billings