Wins have been hard to come by in the first month of the high school soccer campaign, but things are looking up for the Greyhounds as they approach the North Bay League season.
The Hounds (0-6-1) turned in one of their best outings to date in a Jan. 3 meeting with visiting Ukiah, giving the Wildcats all they wanted before settling for a 4-4 tie.
Healdsburg got the party started early in the opening half when freshman Angel Manrique received a cross pass from junior Julian Bermejo and drove it into the net for a 1-0 lead. Ukiah led 2-1 at the half.
“At halftime we talked about the need to possess the ball more and make a push through the flanks of a Ukiah team that seemed comfortable giving us that space on the field,” Hounds coach Herbert Lemus said. “That space allowed our wings to go deep in the Ukiah territory and enable us to make crosses.”
The strategy began to pay immediate dividends midway through the second half when senior Juan Avalos took a pass from freshman Edgar Campos and scored to knot the contest at 2-2.
Trailing 4-2 in the 36th minute, the Greyhounds clawed back to tie the game within a three minute span. The first point came on a goal from Campos on a loose ball in front of the Ukiah net, followed by a header goal from junior Juan Pablo Patino off a corner kick from senior Adrian Jimenez.
“Patino is not really a tall player, but he has a good jumping ability and it took every inch of his body to connect with the ball,” Lemus noted.
The Hounds will kick off the NBL season at home on Jan. 14 against unbeaten Montgomery. Game time is 6 p.m.
Ladies tie Lobos
The Lady Greyhounds (1-4) are coming off a holiday break this week, with their most recent match ending in a 3-3 tie with Elsie Allen.
Goal scorers for Healdsburg included Eva Hernandez Rosillo, Olivia Oseguera (first ever goal) and Viola Santana.
“What was really nice for us was that we had three different goal scorers,” HHS coach May Hays reported. “In addition to those three we also had standout performances from Fiona Affronti and Claire Conard.”
Healdsburg will be back on the pitch on Jan. 17 at at Rancho Cotate in a 6 p.m. varsity start.