EAST WENATCHEE — Eastmont soccer hasn’t shied away from the competition. The latest test was on their home field Friday night when they hosted the Newport Knights.
The Knights were 11-2-1 last year. They won a district championship but lost in the state quarterfinals to Bellarmine, the eventual state champions.
“We were excited to play a team of their caliber,” Eastmont Head Coach Vidal Hurtado said. “To help our growth, it's important to play quality teams early.”
Early on, both teams were feeling each other out. Linking more than two passes together was next to impossible as each defense canceled the other out.
But slowly, as Eastmont held more and more possession and created more opportunities in front of the goal, their effort paid off.
In the 33rd minute, Aaron Leon tipped a high pass to Rogelio Hernandez, who gathered the ball and slotted it past the keeper low while in traffic 1-0.
Unfortunately, luck bounces the other way sometimes.
Less than three minutes later, Newport found the net. Eastmont’s keeper, Osvaldo Sanchez, made a diving save on a free kick that sent the ball wide. A Knight collected the rebound and sent it back into a mass of jerseys. Somehow, the ball bounced into the net 1-1.
“We have to learn how to finish a half,” Hurtado said.
Newport came out hot in the second half. They created more opportunities and close calls in the box but no shots on goal.
It didn’t last long. Eastmont went back to what they do best — creating. When their defense stonewalls Newport, they feed a quick and patient offense and fill space until opportunities present themselves.
“They’re tall and have a great defense,” Hurtado said. “We had the ability to play around them with touches and creativity.”
The goal that returned the lead to Eastmont came from the foot of Edgar Leon, in the 56th minute after he teed up a rebound at the top of the box 2-1.
The last goal was finished after Aaron Leon dribbled up the goalline, drew the defense, and tapped it to Edgar for his second goal 3-1.
“It was fun to see them play,” Hurtado said. “They’ve been playing with each other for a long time.”
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