TONASKET – New coach, new players, new style of play.
And, for the Tonasket boys soccer team, a new sense of resolve that was immediately evident in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with visiting Manson.
The Tigers bounced back from a 3-1 deficit with two goals in the final seven minutes to tie the Trojans, who last year dominated Tonasket 5-0.
“I’m really happy for the guys,” said Tonasket coach Jack Goyette. “They just kept playing the whole game, no matter what happened. It was great to have kids coming off the field at the end say, ‘Hey, we overcame adversity.'”
It might have been a tie, but for Tonasket it certainly felt like a victory.
Manson standout Cristian Montes scored two goals early in the second half to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead. The Tigers got back in the game when Michael Orozco scored on a breakaway in the 73rd minute, knocking in a deflection of his own initial shot to halve the deficit.
With time winding down, Kevin Aitcheson drilled an indirect kick from the left sideline into the box, where it deflected off a Manson defender and over the head of the Trojan keeper for the equalizer.
“I actually told Kevin to go soft and outside of the 6-yard line,” Goyette said. “But instead it was hard and right into the middle. Sometimes it pays off to not do what the coach says. He really got hold of that one.”
Manson got on the board in the first minute but Matilde Pacheca scored off a pass over the top from Luis Rivera to knot the score at 1-1 midway through the first half.
Manson won the possession battle for much of the game and appeared to have control after taking its two-goal lead, but the Tigers put together their most consistent offensive pushes after Orozco’s goal cut into the deficit. Lazaro Ortega was his usual solid self in goal with about a dozen saves.
“It’s hard to make the change to a possession-type game,” Goyette said. “We definitely still learning that. But considering this team really dominated us last year, I’m very happy.”