REDMOND — Having played to draws with league front-runners Hood River Valley and The Dalles in the past two weeks, Ridgeview coach Jimmy Kim had a notion that his boys soccer team might be better than its record suggested.
The Ravens backed up their coach’s hunch Tuesday night, roaring past overmatched Crook County 8-0 to stay undefeated in Intermountain Conference play and unbeaten in any match since August.
Cade O’Neill scored three goals, Christian Kim added two, and Ridgeview was never really threatened in improving to 2-0-2 in the IMC (4-2-2 overall).
“I thought we played better than the draws would indicate,” said Jimmy Kim, referring to a 1-1 home tie at Hood River Valley on Sept. 20 and a 3-3 deadlock with The Dalles last Thursday.
As for Tuesday’s convincing home win, Kim said the Ravens “kind of had our way from the beginning.”
O’Neill scored the match’s first goal in the eighth minute with an assist from fellow senior Jonathan Orozco. Christian Kim, the coach’s son and yet another Ridgeview senior, made it 2-0 a minute later, assisted by O’Neill. Two more goals by O’Neill and another by Kim made it 5-0 at halftime.
The Ravens got second-half goals by Ethan Birmingham, Orozco and Isaac Grusy, a senior center back who took advantage of an opportunity at the offensive end. O’Neill finished with two assists, as did sophomore Marques Montanez.
“I think we did a good job possessing (the ball) and controlling the tempo,” said Jimmy Kim.
Crook County was coming off a 2-1 win over Pendleton and seeking to get to .500 in IMC play. But the young Cowboys (now 1-3 IMC, 2-6 overall) proved no match for the Ravens in the first of their two meetings this season.
Nestor Covarrubias, the Crook County coach, noted that two games into the season the numbers in his program dictated a merger of the JV and varsity teams. The result is a Cowboys roster that includes six freshmen and five sophomores.
“I have half a team JV and half varsity,” said Covarrubias. “And Ridgeview is a very good team.”
Both teams are back in action Thursday. Crook County is at home against Redmond, while Ridgeview is on the road to face Pendleton.
“Our boys are playing with a lot of confidence,” said Jimmy Kim. “We’re in good position to control our own destiny.”