The Hanford Falcons have gone seven years without a league championship. That’s nearly two full graduating classes of players who haven’t experienced what it feels like to celebrate a league title.
But Hanford’s Class of 2014 helped to change all that. Actually, it was sophomore Will Eldred who scored the game-winner during a 1-0 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Chiawana on Tuesday in Pasco.
Either way, the Falcons clinched at least a share of their first regular-season title since winning the Mid-Valley League crown in 2006.
With two games remaining — at Kennewick on Saturday and at home against Kamiakin next Tuesday — Hanford needs one more win to clinch the MCC title outright.
“I’ll be ready to celebrate when we get another win,” Falcons coach Mike Pardini said.
Eldred scored on a corner kick by Jacob Bogen in the 17th minute when the ball skittered past a slew of defenders to the far post. Eldred was there to trap the ball and chip it over Riverhawks goalkeeper Fernando Gutierrez to break a scoreless tie.
“Both defenses did well. The shots on goal (Hanford 6-3) isn’t really indicative of the outcome,” Pardini said. “There were a lot of good opportunities for both sides. We hit the post twice.”
Falcons goalie Jacob Thiel made three saves for his MCC-leading eighth shutout.
Scoring—1, H, Will Eldred (Jacob Bogen), 17:00. Shots—H 6, C 3. Saves—H, Jacob Thiel 3. C, Fernando Gutierrez 5.
Kamiakin 4, Walla Walla 1: Ty Wallin scored two goals on his 17th birthday and Jose Anguiano added two more, lifting the Braves to an MCC home win over the Blue Devils.
Kamiakin scored its four goals in the first 33 minutes before Francisco Sanchez netted Wa-Hi’s only goal in the 43rd minute.
“Playing on our home turf helped us. Walla Walla definitely took it to us down there earlier this season,” Braves coach Jeff Bennett said. “We’ve been able to get some of our hurting players back into play. We haven’t been functioning at 100 percent. We’re starting to get them back one by one.”
Kamiakin goalkeeper Riley Shulman made nine saves before Connor Durham took over in the 64th minute.
“Riley is playing with some injuries, but he’s doing a great job keeping goals out,” Bennett said.
Scoring—1, K, Ty Wallin (Blake Wagar), 11:00; 2, K, Wallin (Alberto Anguiano), 15:00; 3, K, Jose Anguiano (Will Gillen), 25:00; 4, K, J.Anguiano 33:00; 5, WW, Francisco Sanchez, 43:00. Saves—WW, Mason Ahrens 7. K, Riley Shulman 9, Connor Durham (64:00) 5.
Kennewick 1, Richland 0 (OT): Federico Villasenor scored off an assist by Ramiro Chavez in the first overtime to give the Lions a much-needed victory.
Henry Hernandez made four saves for Kennewick, which outshot Richland 25-7 but only capitalized once.
Scoring—1, Kennewick, Federico Villasenor (Ramiro Chavez), 84:00. Shots—Kennewick 25, Richland 7. Saves—Kennewick, Henry Hernandez, 4; Richland, Damian Ruiz, 12
Sunnyside 1, Eastmont 0: Luis Ricola scored off an assist from Christian Chavez to give the Grizzlies a CBBN road victory over the Wildcats.
Scoring—1, Sunnyside, Luis Ricola (Christian Chavez), 64:00. Shots—Sunnyside 11, Eastmont 6. Saves—Sunnyside, Jorge Villegas, 3; Eastmont, Gerardo Rangel, 5
Grandview 4, Selah 1: Sophomore Jonathan Mata scored his first two varsity goals as the Greyhounds topped visiting Selah in CWAC play.
Fernando Palencia also scored his first varsity goal for Grandview, which also got a goal and an assist from Alvaro Flores, and two assists from Victor Valencia.
The Greyhounds (7-0) host Toppenish in a key CWAC matchup Thursday.
Scoring—1, G, Jonathan Mata (Armando Vargas), 32:00. 2, G, Alvaro Flores (Victor Valencia), 43:00. 3, G, Mata (Flores), 62:00. 4, G, Fernando Palencia (Victor Valencia), 66:00. 5, S, Brenan Ball (PK), 72:00. Shots—S 7, G 15. Saves—S, Joel Dallman 11. G, Antonio Garcia 6.
Wahluke 5, Warden 0: Ramon Bravo scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season to lead the Warriors to an SCAC home victory over the Cougars.Alan Caro made five saves to earn the shutout for Wahluke (11-2, 11-2).
Scoring—1, Wahluke, Lebrado Barajas (PK), 13:002, Wahluke, Emmanuel Hidalgo (Juan Estrada), 17:00; 3, Wahluke, Ramon Bravo (Faustino Dominguez), 56:00; 4, Wahluke, Bravo (Estrada), 67:00; 5, Wahluke, Angel Cruz (Alexis Anaya), 79:00. Shots—Warden 8, Wahluke 20. Saves—Warden, Osvaldo Alba, 10; Wahluke, Alan Caro, 5