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Mabton claims surprising victory against Grandview

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Mabton's Tony Espinoza (L) and Grandview's Bruce Cardenas (right) scramble for possession of the ball in last night's non-league soccer match between the two neighboring schools.

GRANDVIEW - It may have been a non-league soccer match between neighboring Grandview and Mabton high schools last night, but it was a match the Vikings seemed to have taken much more seriously than the Greyhounds.

That's according to Grandview Coach Anne Holden, who said her team dropped the match 2-1 to the visiting Vikings because the Greyhounds "were too relaxed."

She said, "It was quite strange, but Mabton played well."

Mabton Coach Junior Garcia said the match was pretty tight with both teams going back and forth in the first half.

Holden agreed, but felt her team dominated possession. "We just didn't capitalize on scoring opportunities," she said.

Yet, Grandview was the first to score. In the opening half, Taylor Hoffard gained possession and scored at the 15-minute mark. The assist was credited to Alex Guzman, who slipped past the Viking defense to boot the ball to Hoffard.

"After we had the goal in the bank, our intensity level dropped and our communication dropped," said Holden.

Garcia said, "We had chances to get the equalizer, but couldn't score."

Grandview held a 1-0 lead going into halftime, but the lack of communication and intensity cost the home team in the second half.

Holden said there were a couple of key factors in allowing Mabton back into the game. She said her team didn't finish its shots and lost positioning "because without communication everyone drops out of the pocket."

Mabton attacked continuously. The effort paid off in the 20th minute of the closing half when Tony Espinosa scored to tie the game at one apiece.

Espinosa received a pass from teammate Jesus Rios and dribbled the ball towards the Grandview keeper. As the Greyhound keeper came out to meet Espinosa he kicked the ball into the left side of the net.

Ten minutes later the Vikings took the lead for good when Josh Carrasco scored. This time Espinosa was credited with the assist as he passed the ball to Carrasco, who took a strong shot from the corner 20 yards out for the score.

With Mabton leading 2-1 Garcia said his defense really stepped it up, something they've been doing the past couple of games.

"They're playing more as a team now," Garcia said.

Holden said, "Mabton didn't stop when we did."

She said she wasn't expecting the Greyhounds to drop their intensity against the Vikings, but the experience caused the Grandview team to reflect on what went wrong.

"We just have to put the matches away," said Holden, adding, "We have to be continuously aggressive...we can't be complacent.

"Every match is critical."

Mabton keeper Gerardo Barajas recorded 10 saves. Grandview had 11 shots on goal and eight shots off goal.

The Vikings made 13 attempts to score.

Mabton (3-7, 5-7) will host Kiona-Benton this coming Friday at 6 p.m.

Grandview (1-3, 2-8-1) travels to Quincy tomorrow (Thursday) and takes to the field at 6 p.m., as well.

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