EAST WENATCHEE – So far so good for Vidal Hurtado and the Eastmont girls’ soccer team who tied Southridge 2-2 in their season-opener Saturday afternoon at home.
There was a little bit of good, a little bit of bad and enough to improve on heading into their match against Cashmere Thursday night.
“(Overall) I thought it was a good start for us,” Hurtado said Monday afternoon. “We learned a few things. One, we definitely have some room to grow with conditioning – being able to finish strong – and then having composure in 1v1 situations with the keeper.”
The Wildcats went into the half tied after Megan Chandler scored from about 35-yards out and then took the lead after the 70-minute mark on a PK from junior Jayden Brown.
“Chandler saw that the keeper was too high in the box and took the opportunity and scored a nice goal and then Jaden scored after a foul in the box toward the end in the game,” Hurtado said.
But the Wildcats lead didn’t last long.
Minutes later Southridge earned a corner and converted, leveling the score at two apiece.
“We gave our backs to the girl with the ball and they scored off that,” Hurtado said of the late goal. “We gave them two opportunities. So we’ll continue working on communication. Once we can iron out the defensive shape we’ll be strong. I saw some good things happen and some gaps to improve on. But I was happy with their performance overall.”
With it being just a non-league contest, both coaches agreed pre-match to finish in a tie if neither was leading at the end of full-time. Which is completely fine for the first match of the season. No need to over-exert in essentially a preseason matchup.
Eastmont now gets ready for Cashmere, who make the short jaunt across the river for another non-league match on Thursday.
Both teams are quite familiar with each other having played once each of the past few years. And Hurtado has had plenty of experience coaching against Dennis Tronson.
“We saw each other in a summer tournament and I know we goth had a few girls missing but it was competitive,” Hurtado said. “They are an organized team and I know they have a strong player in Chloe Diaz, so we’re looking to connect better on the ground, continue to grow defensively and communicate with each other.”
Eastmont wraps up their non-league stretch on Saturday at Hazen before opening Big 9 play at home against West Valley next Tuesday.
Kickoff on Thursday is at 7 p.m.