It was only pregame warmups, but Kyle Vierck could tell Adolfo Mora was ready to play.
The Columbia Basin College mens soccer coach knew he would have to rely on some strong bench play against NWAACC rival Walla Walla, but it was Mora, a freshman reserve defender, who came up with the biggest play of all in a 1-1 tie against the Warriors on Saturday in Pasco.
Mora, a former Davis standout, scored the tying goal in the 73rd minute, knocking in a rebound after Walla Walla goalkeeper Daniel Romero failed to corral a hard cross from Hawks foward Jesse Esquivel.
I was pretty much following the ball, said Mora, who was decked head-to-toe in dirt and grass stains after the game. I was ready to play. Its a rivalry game, and theyre a great team.
Vierck praised his bench play after the rainy conditions made it tough for the Hawks (11-5-3 overall, 6-4-2 NWAACC) starters to mount a strong attack on a slick field.
(Mora) is pure heart. Hes fun to watch, Vierck said. To beat Walla Walla, you have to score. Theyre tough to unlock.
They beat the tar out of us at their place (a 3-0 shutout on Oct. 3). Weve got Spokane next, and if we beat them were the No. 2 seed. Were on a revenge tour of sorts.
Walla Walla (13-1-3, 8-1-3) had already clinched the top seed out of the East, but Warriors coach Chad Bodnar was hoping to maintain a high level of play heading into the playoffs.
We were pretty lackadaisical. I hope it doesnt happen again, Bodnar said.
Walla Walla took a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute when former Richland standout Perry McNamar sent a hard cross in from the right wing, and midfielder Ivan Chamorro charged in from the top of the box to head the ball past Hawks keeper Antonio Gonzalez.
We got comfortable. Maybe a little too comfortable. We sat in on defense and gave them a chance to come back on us, Bodnar said.
Walla Walla outshot CBC 19-14, but both teams had a handful of solid chances on goal. The Warriors held the edge on possession, earning eight corner kicks six of them in the second half.
Scoring1, WW, Ivan Chamorro (Perry McNamar), 49:00; 2, CBC, Adolfo Mora, 73:00. ShotsWW 19, CBC 14. SavesWW, Daniel Romero 4. CBC, Antonio Gonzalez 6.