By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE The host Tri-Valley Bears scored at least once in each half of competition on Wednesday afternoon on their way to a non-league boys’ soccer victory over the Eldred Yellowjackets.
Juan Rios scored two goals in the Bears’ 3-0 win.
Sixteen minutes in the match, Rios scored on a penalty kick with a low shot to the corner past Eldred sophomore goalkeeper Travis Steimle, who quickly dove to his left and did his best to stop the ball.
The PK occurred because one of the Yellowjackets accidentally touched the ball with his hand while standing in the goal box.
Less than a minute had elapsed in the second half when Rios scored unassisted on a corner kick to give T-V (2-10) a 2-0 lead.
With approximately 15 minutes remaining, Mike Houghtaling scored the final goal of the afternoon on an assist from Rios.
The home team might have enjoyed a 2-0 lead at the half. But an apparent goal with less than three minutes remaining until the intermission was disallowed because one of the Bears was offsides on the play.
T-V outshot Eldred by an 18-8 margin and had a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
“We really needed it,” T-V Coach Bob Ackerley said of the win, noting the Bears had lost matches to Tuxedo and The Family School just prior to Wednesday’s contest. “We were able to get everybody in [the game] today.”
While praising the effort by all of his players, Ackerley said that midfielder Jarryd Killian “did a tremendous job.”
Ackerley noted that a recent switch to a 3-5-2 formation in front of goalie Gene Morton “is working well for us.”
Morton made eight saves for the Bears.
“We had opportunities to score and didn’t take advantage of them,” Eldred Coach J.J. Gass said. “Tri-Valley took advantage of its [scoring] opportunities.”
Steimle finished with 15 saves for Eldred (0-9-1).