While the Cougars found the back of the net first, near the midway point of the opening half, the manner in which they scored didn’t signify any offensive improvements. The offensive struggles continued the remainder of the game and Reed tallied four unanswered goals in its 4-1 road win.
“It was totally my fault. Let them have their day and let our guys get humbled,” SSHS boys soccer coach Rob Moreland said. “I wanted to score a couple more goals, which we should have. I put three in the back just so these guys would have to work a little harder. We’ll be ready on Monday. Monday is when it starts.
“I put the pressure on ourselves. I was going to let them get a couple in and see if we could come back. Try to test them with something, but it didn’t work. Give Reed credit. They put them away.”
In the 22nd minute, senior Spanish Springs midfielder Julio Soto took a free kick and ripped a laser from 28 yards out, breaking the scoreless tie with a goal into the top right corner past Reed keeper Josh Reyes.
Three minutes later, Reed had its own set piece and benefited from a fortuitous bounce.
Danny Hernandez sent a corner to the middle of the box The ball bounced around like a pinball and Gonzalo Arellano knocked it in from in front of the goal, tying the game at 1-1 with just under 16 minutes left on the first-half clock.
That’s how the score stayed heading into halftime and Senior Night festivities for the home team.
Within the first six minutes of the second half, Reed managed to record four shots on goal as Spanish Springs could not muster a quality counterattack. SSHS goalkeeper Omar Trujillo was not challenged much by the shots.
But after 10 minutes ticked off the second-half clock, Reed midfielder Christian Martinez received a high bouncing ball from over his shoulder and he unleashed a rocket right at Trujillo, who was up to the task and kept the tie intact.
Three minutes later, it was a different story as the Blue and Gold scored off another corner when Kenny Reyes popped it up over Trujillo’s reach, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead with 27 minutes to play. Alex Reyes was credited with his second assist of the game.
The Raiders, who knew they were stuck playing the spoilers without any chances of reaching the postseason, also couldn’t spoil much for the Cougars, who were locked into the second seed no matter the outcome Tuesday. That didn’t stop Reed from avenging a 3-1 loss earlier this season and taking it to the hosts.
In the 58th minute, Reed was on a run. Martinez received a perfect cross in front of the goal, but Trujillo made a stellar diving stop on Martinez’s header. However, a second after the save, Jairo Segura pushed in the rebound as he had come up from his defender position.
Even with a 3-1 advantage, the Raiders were not satisfied.
Martinez tracked down a long pass from Segura and made it a 4-1 game, going near side with his goal in the 61st minute.
That’s when Spanish Springs woke up, but the Cougars’ shots either went high or right at Josh Reyes. He made an impressive kick save on a shot by Soto with just over six minutes on the clock.
“After last week, we knew there would be no playoffs,” Reed boys soccer coach Joel Martinez said. “We just came in with the mindset that we were going to play the spoiler part, and we believed. We started the game with 11 seniors and ended the game with 11 seniors.”
Spanish Springs (9-5-2) hosts a first-round playoff game Monday against Galena. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Reed finishes out the season with a 5-8-3 record in Martinez’s first year as head coach.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids. They never gave up. They always tried,” Martinez said. “We were in so many close games that were decided by a goal. We just can’t look back at that and regret what we had. We have to move on, and as a team, we have to grow.”