PRINEVILLE — For the first 40 minutes, it was anyone’s game. The second 40, not so much.
Ridgeview turned a 1-1 halftime tie into a 9-1 Intermountain Conference boys soccer win Tuesday over Crook County, scoring eight second-half goals on a windy, chilly afternoon at Crook County High.
In winning its third straight game, a stretch during which it has outscored its opponents 20-1, Ridgeview (6-1 overall, 3-1 IMC) turned up the intensity against the Cowboys (1-8, 0-4) and played with the effort that coach Jimmy Kim said he expects from his team.
“For us, it’s just about our energy level,” Kim said. “I think we came out a little flat, we made some mistakes, we weren’t possessing the ball like we like to, we weren’t connecting on the passes. In the second half it wasn’t so much about the adjustments as it was the boys just coming in and playing with energy in the second half and doing the things that we do well.”
In 2019, scoring is what the Ravens do well, averaging over five goals per match through seven games. It just took a while to get the ball rolling on Tuesday.
Sophomore forward Marcos Jaimes struck first in the 11th minute off an assist from Ethan Birmingham. With time winding down before the first-half whistle, junior forward Kevin Sanchez maneuvered past Ridgeview goalkeeper Dalen Buckley-Noonan to even the score for the Cowboys.
Crook County had stymied the high-scoring Ridgeview attack in the first half.
“It was frustrating. We just weren’t playing our game,” said Ridgeview junior midfielder Marques Montanez. “We came here, didn’t get a good warm-up in, and then we came out flat and it cost us.”
The frustration would not last long for the Ravens. Sophomore midfielder Juan Pasquin-Barbosa scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the second half with assists from Buckley-Noonan and Birmingham to take a two-goal advantage.
Then the avalanche started. In an 11-minute span, the Ravens found the back of the net six more times.
Birmingham scored his first goal, followed by Pasquin-Barbosa’s second goal, then junior midfielder Orlando Jaimes scored to make it 6-1. Montanez scored twice in two minutes, then dished out his third assist to senior midfielder Jose Robles a minute later to make it 9-1.
“After you get one they just keep coming,” said Montanez, who finished with two goals and three assists. “Our coach got us fired up at halftime and we realized that we needed to play our game. We are a second-half team and we showed that.”
For the first 60 minutes or so, Crook County coach Ramon Castaneda liked the way his team was playing against a Ridgeview team that came into the day with the best overall record in the IMC. And despite trailing 3-1 midway through the second half, the Cowboys gained a one-man advantage after Buckley-Noonan received a red card, forcing him to leave the game.
But the Ravens managed to outscore the Cowboys 5-0 even playing down a man. Castaneda said he thought his players threw in the towel at that point.
“We hung in there three-quarters of the way, but they gave up on themselves. Once they got scored on they put their heads down and stopped trying. We can’t do that, especially with how good of a team Ridgeview is,” Castaneda said. “We just have to be more of a team and play together. I think the first 60 minutes I think we did that. Then when they were down a man we should have taken advantage and we couldn’t.”
Both teams are back in IMC action Thursday, when Ridgeview hosts Pendleton and Crook County travels to face Redmond.
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