MONTESANO — Finally applying the finishing touches to a couple of its many chances, Hoquiam was rewarded with a victory in a home-away-from-home contest.
Jose Juarez and Naz Mazariegos scored in the final 12 minutes to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 victory over Seton Catholic in a non-league boys soccer match Thursday night at Montesano’s Rottle Field.
The contest was switched to Rottle’s turf field to spare wear and tear on Hoquiam’s soggy Sea Breeze Oval.
Thursday’s score scarcely reflected Hoquiam’s domination of the contest.
The Grizzlies (2-0) outshot the Cougars, 24-2. Defending well within the box, Seton Catholic (1-1) was able to prevent Hoquiam from obtaining quality shots on many of its opportunities. Winning coach Fidel Sanchez, however, believed his team contributed to its own frustration.
“We moved the ball from the back to midfield to forward really well,” Sanchez said. “But we were making poor choices on our shot selection. We rushed our shots from 18 yards in.”
Finally, in the 68th minute, the Grizzlies saved a ball from rolling over the end line on Seton Catholic’s portion of the field. Midfielder Parker McCormick got the ball back to Juarez, who buried an open eight-yard shot into the roof of the net.
Some eight minutes later, Mazariegos took a short pass from Connor Darras and broke in alone on goalkeeper Henry Demsky before putting it away from about 15 yards out.
The Grizzlies dominated time of possession from the outset but failed to convert two excellent first-half chances.
Moving up from his customary defender’s position, Hoquiam’s Gregory Dick launched a header off a Darras corner kick in the 26th minute on which Demsky made a brilliant diving save.
On Hoquiam’s next possession, McCormick sent a crossing pass to an open Juarez, but the sophomore midfielder’s attempt from close range glanced off the crossbar and sailed over the top of the net.
Seton Catholic’s only serious threat came without about two minutes remaining in the contest. James Johnson’s free kick caromed off a defender to Zach Cowger, but his close-range shot was smothered by goalkeeper Johnny Smith.
Oscar Joya and Andre’s Vasquez made some good defensive plays for Hoquiam. Sanchez cited the all-around play of Darras and Carlos Juarez.
The Grizzlies are scheduled to return to Sea Breeze Oval on Saturday afternoon to face Castle Rock.