WENATCHEE — It took quite a while to get the first goal, but once Bridgeport did, the Mustangs left no doubt in their CTL consolation match against Chelan Thursday at the Apple Bowl.
Bridgeport (14-2) dominated possession from the opening kickoff and freshman Yair Diaz bagged a pair of goals, one in each half, as the Mustangs walloped the Mountain Goats 4-nil, earning their eighth clean sheet of the season.
The win also secures a home crossover for Bridgeport this Saturday against Medical Lake.
It was a good rebound for a team that fell 2-1 in a heartbreaker against Cashmere on Tuesday.
“After that last game, it was tough,” Bridgeport head coach Gabe Gonzalez said after Thursday’s win. “The guys were a little down after the game (so) it was good to see them come back like they did today.”
From the start of the match, it was all Bridgeport.
The Mustangs peppered Goats keeper Angel Mendiola with crosses and shots from just outside the box, edging closer with each attempt. Then with 14 minutes left in the first half, Diaz broke through the Goats back line and touched the ball over Mendiola’s head before toeing it into the back of the net to give Bridgeport a one-goal lead.
That was the lone goal of the half, though Bridgeport nearly made it 2-nil in the final moments with a blast from just outside the 6-yard box, but Mendiola punched it clear. This would become a theme throughout the second half.
Bridgeport shoots, Mendiola clears.
Mendiola was the only reason the game didn’t turn into a 7-0 rout. The Goats just never built up enough of an attack to apply pressure. Their only shot on frame came midway through the first half on a free kick played into the box, but it was snuffed out by the Mustang back line.
“The whole defense has been really strong all year, so it was good to see they are still that way,” Gonzalez said. “Even when we put subs in, they can play at the same level, which is a good advantage I think.”
Bridgeport wasted no time in the second half, with Alexis Valdovinos scoring two minutes into the period. Ramiro Espino made it 3-nil midway through the half after driving home a cross in the box before Diaz notched his second goal of the match right before stoppage time.
“He’s something else,” Gonzalez said of Diaz. “He is our high scorer and you can see why. He’s so fast and has a lot of potential.”
Because of the loss, Chelan will face Lakeside (9 Mile), whom the Goats lost to by a score of 3-1 in April, at Spokane Falls Community College on Saturday. Bridgeport gets Medical Lake at home on Saturday as well.
“I told the guys we (just) need to play our game,” Gonzalez said.”It doesn't matter how they play, we just have to focus on what we know and use our speed.”
Kickoff time is still TBD for Bridgeport, but the Goats kickoff Saturday at 1 p.m.