A late, game-winning goal by sophomore Jacob Quiroz broke the tie Othello and Prosser had Thursday, April 11, and gave the Huskies a 3-2 nonleague win on the road. The Mustangs struck first in the match, but Othello was able to bounce back each time in a match that head coach Bernie Garza said would be a nice confidence boost for his team. "It was a nonleague win and so it doesn't really mean much, it just gets the guys more energized," Garza said. "It was a good comeback win and it gets the guys motivated." Prosser's Martin Madrigal earned the early lead in the 18th minute in his team's first shot attempt of the night, but Othello's Edwin Alvarez, assisted by Gustavo Roa, answered back three minutes later. At first, Garza was concerned the way his team got off to a slow start but said Alvarez's cleanup score off a corner kick alleviated some of those thoughts. Prosser scored their final goal of the night in the 23rd minute and was able to maintain their 2-1 lead through the remainder of the first half. Garza said goalkeeper Angel Rangel made a good effort on the save, but Prosser's Ivan Lopez managed to finish the shot after the ball bounced first off Rangel's hands and then off the cross bar. Assisted by Rodrigo Zuniga, Othello's Hugo Martinez tied the match in the 55th minute. Garza decided to change his lineup and moved Quiroz up to the forward position where he played the remainder of the game. The decision paid off as Quiroz's goal in the 69th minute sealed up the win for the Huskies. "I put Jacob up on top and he played there the remainder of the last 20 minutes," Garza said. "Five minutes later, he scored the game-winning goal - he's a natural forward." Due to absences and injuries, Garza had to make multiple lineup changes like this. He said it's not ideal to lack a solid lineup this late in the season, but he was happy to find out his backups can get the job done when asked. "Now I know these guys can play - they're good," he said.
Soccer suffers setback at West Valley with 1-3 loss The Huskies have had an up and down season so far and after the Saturday, April 13, 1-3 loss at West Valley, the team is sitting at 2-2 with a three-way tie for fifth place in the CWAC. Once again, changes in the lineup affected Othello's game, but unlike their previous game against Prosser, the team couldn't make it work out in their favor. Coach Garza said his team "dominated" in most of the key areas they needed to win for the first 30 minutes of the game. Othello possessed the ball better, took seven shots, two direct kicks but had nothing to show for it. West Valley ended up striking first in the 30th minute due to a breakdown in his team's defense, Garza said. It was a long shot from 40 yards out and goalkeeper Diego Suarez missed the save attempt. "Diego came out, miss-timed it, the ball bounced and went over his head," Garza said, adding that defender Miguel Gonzalez tried to jump in to assist in clearing. "Unfortunately for us, he was going too fast - didn't have brakes - and hit it in for the first goal." Two minutes later, West Valley pulled off something similar, only this time one of their attackers finished up the shot. Suarez moved forward, but the ball bounced over him and Prosser headed it in. Down 2-0 at halftime, Garza put senior Trevor Walker in at goalkeeper for relief. Walker was solid up until the 64th minute when the Rams scored on a nice breakaway play. "The forward dribbled in all by himself, got Trevor one-on-one and just blasted a shot from about 10 yards out," Garza said. "That was a nice shot." Now down 3-0, the Huskies kept the attack going and finally reached pay dirt in the 79th minute off Quiroz's direct kick goal. Othello took seven shots in the first half and six in the second. Comparing Othello's number of shot attempts to West Valley's 4-for-2 first half and 2-for-1 second half showed Garza his team is having trouble with consistency and finishing shots. "We're not finishing ... and we're not taking advantage of the opportunities," he said. "We should be way past that." Garza and the Huskies are keeping positive attitudes about securing a spot for the playoffs. The Huskies took on a struggling Wapato team Tuesday, but results weren't available as of press time. This Saturday, Othello will take on Grandview away and Garza is confident they'll have a good chance at winning this match. He knows it's crunch time and said his guys can't afford a loss in this one.