Monday, September 1, 2014

Sasquatch men outlast Chemeketa Storm in CC Spokane doubleheader

Bigfoot men wrapped up a four-game week with a comeback victory (Photos: Gerald Barnhart)
The winless Chemeketa Storm nearly spoiled the home opener for the CC Spokane men Saturday afternoon, but a two-goal second half propelled the Bigfoot to a 2-1 victory in the second half of a doubleheader that kicked off with the Lady Sasquatch drubbing the Storm 5-0.

The Bigfoot men held the better of play against the Storm, but the visitors struck first in a rare trip into the offensive end of the field in the 28th minute. A ball into the box ricocheted around and was eventually bodied over from point blank range by Edgar Ramirez.

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The Sasquatch came out firing in the second half, but the visitors still put forth a bit of fight as the game grew testy as time wore on. In the 54th minute Chemeketa nearly doubled the lead with a who from the edge of the box headed under the bar before a backward-leaning Damian Ruiz tipped it over.

Four minutes later, the Bigfoot pulled even. Jonathan Cruz got the ball on the right side of the box and dished it left to an unmarked Devin Leon for an easy put away from about 10 yards.

"To the guys credit, they stuck to it; continued to kind of grind through it," said coach Kenny Krestian. "I kinda felt we were good through the midfield and had some good hold-up play. Just now, its continuing to fine tune that attacking third and being more critical in front of goal."

Chemeketa nearly reclaimed the lead in the 67th when a cross was headed down and out of the box by the Sasquatch only to see it go directly to Armando Guerrero. The Storm midfielder's laser, however, sailed just over the goal.

After a pair of busted corners, the third time proved the charm in the 74th minute for Spokane. The third attempt was a lot stronger than the first two, sailing well over the top to Mario Zarate on the far left side of the box. He took it to the end line and crossed the ball back in where it eventually found its way to Brandon Babinski, whose effort smacked off the underside of the crossbar and down over the line by the slimmest of margins.

With eight minutes remaining Spokane nearly iced the game when a ball over the top put Leon in all alone, but his finish on the break went just wide.

Frustrations for Chemeketa boiled over just before stoppage time when a pair of players were sent off after a Storm player battling with Leon in the Spokane half of the field wrapped an arm around his neck from behind and flipped him over. The flip and aggressive follow-up Jorge Rico drew the obvious ejection from the match and his teammate Elvis Pavon was also sent off in the aftermath.

The match ended a long week for the Bigfoot men, who started the season on the westside with a game against Shoreline, a 4-2 win, and then split at the Starfire Friendlies Tuesday and Wednesday, beating Edmonds 4-1 and falling to reigning NWAC champion Peninsula 4-1.

"After the week we had - four matches in five days - it was a tough turnaround and we expected a little bit of tiredness from the guys. They showed a little bit of fatigue, but I felt we dictated the match for most of it. We gave up the goal, I felt, kind of against the run of play, but that's the way the game goes."

"I think we got some great talent. We've got a roster of 23 guys and I think we got 18, 19 that will see quality time this year," Krestian said of his squad this season. "I think, really, as we look at it a good mixture of sophomores and freshman, and it will be a good season for us."

In the first game of the doubleheader, the ladies cruised to the victory. Rashelle Fisher tallied a goal and an assist in the first half, setting up Shannon Budworth in the 20th and adding the second in the 36th.

After second half goals from Sydni Thomas and Lexi Miller she added a second goal with 14 minutes left. Samantha Burmester earned the clean sheet with three saves.

The ladies are now also 3-1-0 on the season including their trip to the west. They opened with a 3-1 win at Shoreline, blanked Whatcom in the first Starfire Friendly 3-0 and were nipped 1-0 by reigning champion Peninsula 1-0 in the second.