Ilwaco was the latest victim of another big game from Montesano midfielder Luis Muro in the Bulldogs’ 5-0 win over the Fishermen Thursday at Jack Rottle Field in Montesano.
Muro tallied a hat trick in the first half and assisted on another goal as the Bulldogs (7-5, 7-1 Evergreen 1A) put the game out of reach early.
Muro got the scoring started less than a minute into the game and beat Ilwaco keeper Danner Tynkila on a close-range shot to put Monte up 1-0.
The senior forward capitalized on another scoring chance in the 10th minute when he cleaned up a rebound in the box by shooting low and to the left of the keepr to give Monte the 2-0 lead.
Muro said strong passing helped pace the offense in the first half.
“Our passing game was a lot better in this game,” he said. “It got a little sloppy after 10 minutes but we got our composure back together and that contributed to our five first-half goals.”
Joel Pine scored in the 20th minute before Muro picked up another goal on a shot from the right outside edge of the box in the 30th minute to give Monte the 4-0 lead late in the first half.
The Fishermen (0-8 overall) were looking to run the offense through Ethan Personius, but the Bulldogs backline marked the Ilwaco forward to limit his opportunities in the attacking third.
“They were trying to get the ball to (Personius), so we told our defensive center-mids not to allow him to get the ball in front of our defense,” Montesano head coach Rick Denholm said. “The times they had success, they had the ball in front of our defense, but most of the time our defense did a good job of keeping him under control.”
Ilwaco had trouble generating offense of its own, only putting one shot on target in the first half.
The Fishermen’s best scoring opportunity came in the 25th minute when a free-kick attempt from Personius got over the Bulldogs’ wall and hit the post before going over the inline.
The Bulldogs got another goal in the 38th minute from Veli Ambrocio, who capped off the scoring to put Monte up 5-0.
With the outcome no longer in doubt, Denholm got some extra playing time in for his bench players and even subbed out keeper Max Urbnanski to get some time at midfield.
“We have younger players and they have to get experience in that varsity atmosphere,” Denholm said. “We haven’t played a lot of junior varsity games because our numbers are a little low, so it’s really nice to get those younger players into the game.”
With four league matches left on the schedule before the start of the postseason, Muro thinks the Bulldogs are peaking at the right time.
“We’re progressing as a team and all of our confidence is increasing as we get close to the end of the season,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good shot at being league champs, honestly.”
Aberdeen 4, WF West 2
Aberdeen picked up three goals in the first half to give the Bobcats an early cushion in the Bobcats’ 4-2 road win over WF West on Thursday.
Miguel Martinez got the scoring started for Aberdeen (8-2-1, 5-2 Evergreen 2A) in the 21st minute off an assist from Enrique Cuevas.
The Bearcats (3-5-3, 1-4) scored the tying goal in the 26th minute off of a penalty kick.
Aberdeen responded when Cuevas scored a goal of his own in the 33rd minute.
Romeo Sanchez’s goal in the 38th minute capped the first-half scoring to put Aberdeen up 3-1 at halftime.
Bobcats head coach Larry Fleming was pleased with the goal output after a string of low-scoring games and was impressed with how his players stayed calm in a physical match.
“Our boys did a great job of concentrating on playing hard and kept their focus on winning the match rather than reacting to all of the physical play,” he said.
Tenino 5, Elma 2
A shaky defense and lack of offense spoiled a sound pitching performance in Elma’s 5-2 loss to Tenino on Thursday in Elma.
Elma starter Brady Shriver pitched a complete game, allowing no earned runs on five hits, but he was out-dueled by Tenino pitchers Alex Bratton and Abe Nelson, who combined to allow just three hits in the game while striking out 10 Eagles.
Shriver was also let down by the Eagles defense, which committed four errors in the game that led to five unearned runs.
Elma (4-8 overall, 1-4 Evergreen 1A) took an early lead after Tysen Richardson and Justin Elliott walked with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. A Tenino error on a Carter Jacobson ground ball chased Richardson home with the game’s first run.
Tenino (4-8, 2-3) responded with three two-out runs in the third inning, assisted by two Elma errors.
The Eagles cut Tenino’s lead to 3-2 when Brady Johnston drove in Noah Huttula with a base hit in the bottom of the fourth inning.
But that was as close as the Eagles would get as Tenino scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to claim the 5-2 victory.
Johnston went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the only Elma player to have a multi-hit game.
— Ryan Sparks, Grays Harbor News Group