PASCO -- Chiawana forward Rene Solorio had about 20 seconds to decide where he wanted to place his 25-yard free kick in the second half Saturday against Richland.
Bombers goalkeeper Nash Yamauchi, knowing he could not afford to give up an easy goal in a tie game, directed the four-man defensive wall in front of him to where he thought Solorio would not be able to target the right post.
Meanwhile, Riverhawks coach Rich Zoller advised the two-time all-CBBN 4A honoree to try for the more spacious far corner on the left side.
Solorio went against the odds, curling a shot around the wall, off Yamauchi's hands and just inside the right post for what would be the game-winning goal in Chiawana's 2-1 CBBN 4A win over Richland in Pasco.
It didn't surprise Zoller that Solorio went for the smaller space.
"It surprises me when he misses. He's a special player," Zoller said.
The win kept the Riverhawks (7-3, 4-2 CBBN 4A) within one game of first place Moses Lake (7-2, 5-1), which beat Davis 3-2 in double overtime.
The Bombers (3-4-1, 2-4) fell into sixth place, a half-game behind Walla Walla, after suffering their fourth consecutive loss.
"They shut us down in transition. That's part of our game," said Richland coach Octavio Dovalle, who still believes his team is strong enough to defend its CBBN 4A title. "I think there's enough leadership."
Solorio had his share of chances, putting five shots on frame and serving up five corner kicks during the match. He wasn't alone, as the Riverhawks outshot Richland 26-9.
Yamauchi, who plays club soccer with Solorio on the Three Rivers U-17, did his best to guide the defense and keep the score down with some tremendous saves.
"Nash always knows. He knows me too well," Solorio said.
The all-CBBN 4A keeper finished with nine saves and also assisted on the Bombers' lone goal.
Chiawana keeper Javy Peralta wasn't tested nearly as much as his counterpart, but he did have an early showdown with Richland midfielder Jonathan Larsen after Larsen was fouled in the Hawks' penalty box just two minutes into the match.
Larsen drove a low shot toward the left corner, but Peralta showed some quick reflexes, dropping down to his right to block the shot and knock it away.
Cezar Leon is listed on the Riverhawks roster as a forward, but he showed some nice playmaking ability in the sixth minute, scoring after a nice give-and-go with Sam Nuez along the Bombers' end line.
"We're pretty interchangeable. I can be a high striker or a midfielder," Leon said.
Richland struck back in a hurry, as Yamauchi punted the ball ahead to Austin Herrick at midfield. Herrick, a junior midfielder, took a few dribbles down the right wing and beat Peralta to the left corner to tie the score at 1.
"We had to work on some things defensively at the half. We could have been more organized," Zoller said. "It's nice to get a win against Richland. More than that, it's good to get a win."
Scoring--1, C, Cezar Leon (Sam Nunez), 6:00; 2, R, Austin Herrick (Nash Yamauchi), 7:00; 3, C, Rene Solorio, 56:00. Shots--R 9, C 26. Saves--R, Yamauchi 9. C, Javy Peralta 2.