By Jeremy McDonald
PORTLAND, Ore.– After poor air quality canceled their inital season opener versus Parkrose yesterday, McKay finally got their first game under their belts versus David Douglas Wednesday.
Initially scheduled as a home game on Thursday for the Royal Scots that was moved up a day and to Portland due to the turf project, McKay wanted to prove why they belong with the State’s best.
And they surely did despite the final result.
The Scots capitalized with a Yobeli Manzo penatly kick that was quickly followed by a Anthony Mota goal to make it 2-nil for much of the game despite pressure by the Scots of David Douglas.
Oh boy, did they challenge Ricardo Espinoza and his defenders especially after going down two goals. But Espinoza and company held them off entering halftime with nice saves by Espinoza and his defense intercepting at the point of attack whenever David Douglas got near them.
“I think the boys did good, we had a pretty solid defense,” said Espinoza. “Towards the end, I saw that they were getting a little bit tired, we got a little bit confident but oh well, that’s the game sometimes.”
The physicality of the game picked up in the second half and the Scots of McKay had their chances to add to their lead early in the second half. Of the four chances in the opening 10 minutes, two came from offsides calls as Mota points to communication as something they’ll need to work on between now and Tuesday’s road game at Newberg.
“I believe that the only thing we need to work on is talking, our communication,” said Mota on one of the key points the Scots need to fix moving forward. “There were some mistakes where two players would go to the ball and we’ll just leave it there, we weren’t communicating and another player would come and get it.
“I believe that’s one of the things we need to work on. there’s a few others but one of the few things we need to work on.
But McKay held in it, and with Mota and Espinzoa going out for minor injuries in the final 13 minutes (Mota eventually returned for the last few minutes to add some extra fire power on the offensive side of the field); it was Espinzoa’s minor injury that allowed the Scots of David Douglas to capitalize as Uriel Bravo got his first taste of Varsity soccer on the run in crunch time.
However, as quickly as the game got tied, Bravo showcased why this frosh has the ability to play at the Varsity level with a few nice plays include a crucial save in the final minutes to keep David Douglas from turning a two-all draw into a possible win-loss situation as both sides traded physical body blows looking to stop the other from putting in the dagger for the win.
“Honestly it kind of surprised me, I mean I played a Varsity game as a freshman and it was bad for me because obviously I was nervous,” Espinzoa said of Bravo. “Yeah he was nervous a couple of minutes but once he got a little taste of it, he started to go with the flow and following the rhythm, seemed pretty good.”
Though it wasn’t the result they were hoping for, it is the first-game of the season and there’s still plenty of soccer left to play starting with the Tigers (0-1) on the road Tuesday at 7pm.
“We have a great team out there, I personally loved the way we play out there, we gave it our all,” said Mota. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t the score we wanted, but I’m proud of this team. Good things are in store for us this season.”
Full results visit: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=131193#269