By Greg Perkins
After a slow start to the soccer season, it appears the Roadrunners may be trying to turn the corner. Their past two matches have resulted in a tie with Round Valley and their first power point win of the season over St. Johns on Saturday.
Playing at Springerville last Tuesday, the Holbrook forged a 3-3 double overtime tie with the Elks.
Jordan Smith picked up Holbrook’s first goal with nine minutes left in the first half. Round Valley took advantage of a defensive mistake by the Roadrunners to tie the scored just before the half.
“We played well in most phases of the first half, except for finishing. The defensive trio of Trevor Barton, Jonathan Dawson and Micah McClellan were strong with the exception of one lapse,” stated Coach Dave Wright.
The Elks moved in front with a score early in the second half. James Ramirez then faked out the keeper, tying the game on a nice play near the midpoint of the second half. The rest of the match remained knotted, sending the teams to the first overtime session.
Six minutes into the first 10-minute overtime Alex Smith put Holbrook on top with a blast into the goal. Less than two minutes later Round Valley again tied the scoring with a goal of its own. Both teams battled tough throughout the second overtime, but neither was able to pull away from the 3-3 deadlock. Unlike other sports, soccer matches are allowed to end in ties, with the teams sharing power points.
Carlos Quintana had 11 saves in goal for the Birds.
Holbrook won the junior varsity match 6-1 with single goals coming from Robert Dawson and Angel Benitez, and two each from Jimmie Saxton and Alex Smith.
Saturday’s match with St. Johns saw Holbrook score three first half goals en route to a 4-3 victory.
Jordan Smith opened the scoring just four minutes into the match by taking advantage of a keeper mistake by St. Johns. Four minutes later brother Alex Smith found the nets on a shot, putting the Birds up 2-0. Just five minutes later Ramirez moved past defenders to push the lead to 3-0 with an easy shot on a breakaway. St. Johns scored once to reach the half trailing Holbrook 3-1.
St. Johns scored twice in the second half to make the match close, but their two goals were sandwiched around a second goal from Ramirez, which ended up being the game winner.
Defenders Barton, Jonathan Dawson, McClellan and Theron Johns kept the Redskins at bay for the duration of the match.
“It was a nice way to end homecoming week with a win and a tie,” concluded Coach Wright.
Holbrook, now 2-5-1, will return to action on Thursday, Sept. 26, with a match at Show Low. On Saturday, Sept. 28, they host Round Valley.
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By Greg Perkins