Week one is in the books for Baker’s boys varsity soccer team, and the Bulldogs are still looking for their first win.
Baker dropped a tough match to Nyssa, 3-1, on Saturday, March 6. Baker lost to Ontario 4-0 in its opening match March 2 at Ontario.
“It was a really good game, the second half we really came out and played our game,” Baker coach Victor Benites said of Saturday’s loss at Nyssa.
Due to the COVID-19-condensed season, Benites had only two outdoor practices before starting the season at Ontario, and he said the lack of preparation showed.
“I can tell that we were a little bit out of shape, we needed more conditioning but in the second game (Nyssa) we did better conditioning wise,” Benites said.
The Bulldogs’ roster is made up mostly of underclassmen, with a total of seven juniors and seniors. Two juniors missed Saturday’s match at Nyssa, and Benites said their experience could have been pivotal.
“It would have been a different game if I would have had those two kids I do believe, because we really needed all the players to play,” Benites said.
Nyssa took an early lead and never relinquished it.
About 20 minutes into the second half, Baker scored its first goal of the season when freshman Giacomo Riguiero passed to sophomore Diego Quintela for the score, cutting Nyssa’s lead to 3-1.
But Baker couldn’t turn Quintela’s goal into a rally.
Benites said the Bulldogs have plenty of room to improve on defense.
“My defenders, we just have to be able to finish up front, but we will get there,” he said.
Baker plays its first four matches on the road, traveling to La Grande on Friday, March 12 to take on the Tigers at 4 p.m. Benites expects a tough match.
“A couple of players that I know from La Grande are good, if we can just contain those players I think we will be OK,” Benites said.
Baker travels to Idaho to play Four Rivers on March 16, then has its first home match on March 18 against Ontario at 4 p.m.