WENATCHEE — Last year, Wenatchee boys soccer beat the Central Valley Bears 2-0. The Panthers went on to have an impressive season with an 8-2-1 record, a state semifinals appearance, and a fourth-place finish.
This year begins Tronson’s 24th year of coaching. He and his teams have gone 240-153-5 in that span, and over the last seven years, Wenatchee has three first-place, one second-place, and three third-place finishes in the Big Nine. The Panthers went 60-22 to do so.
Wenatchee was hoping for a similar outcome against the Bears, but this year, Central Valley won with a late goal 2-1.
The first and only goal of the first half came early in the 12th minute when a Panther, near the top of the box, curled the ball to the top right corner of the goal. Central Valley’s keeper got a diving hand on it, sending the ball into the air.
When it came down it bounced into the net, and Wenatchee had the lead 1-0.
The Panthers would keep it through most of the game. They held possession the vast majority of the time. When you consider how often the ball was in their half of the field, the bear's difference did a decent job dismantling threats.
They weren’t nearly as efficient as Wenatchee’s defense, which hardly ever allowed a good look at the goal. They held the lead and a clean sheet at halftime.
Early in the second half, the Bears showed more sparks of offensive acuity, but the Panther keeper routinely made smart choices when the ball was near.
Wenatchee’s offense slowly retained more time with the ball, creating off of through-balls, teeing up from deep, and putting a header on goal, but a second goal never came.
When Central Valley is allowed to link passes together and transition quickly, they get looks. It culminated in an equalizer after three back-to-back corner kicks finally found the net 1-1.
The scorer was rewarded with a yellow card seconds after for taunting, and the tempers continued to climb into overtime. Eventually, the winning goal was finally struck by the Bears.
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