Mike Pardini won a 4A state soccer title both as a player and as a coach with the Pasco Bulldogs.
He’s now the head coach at Hanford, but he knows one thing will never change.
Road victories at Bomber Field do not come easy.
However, despite facing directly into a swirling wind as well as a one-goal deficit to Richland on Saturday, the Falcons prevailed 4-2 in a shootout after a 1-1 deadlock after 90 minutes.
With the wind at their back in the first half, the Bombers loaded up on set pieces, earning three corner kicks and two free kicks in the first 15 minutes. They outshot the Falcons 8-1 in the first half.
Kolby Nelson gave Richland a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, firing a low shot past Hanford goalkeeper Jacob Thiel following a corner kick by Anders Lauridsen.
“It was just the 10th minute. It’s an 80-minute game,” Thiel said. “We came here for one thing.”
The early goal didn’t rattle the Falcons, who responded with a calculated effort in the second half, moving midfielder Mario Zarate from midfield to forward. The move worked, as Hanford outshot Richland 8-5 in the second half.
“I was impressed with Hanford and the way they came out,” Bombers coach Octavio Dovalle said. “We got sideways on our game plan. But it’s a young season. We’ll see what happens.”
Six minutes into the second half, Falcons midfielder Jacob Bogen set up for a 50-yard free kick from the left hash, calculating the distance to the frame guarded by Bombers keeper Damien Ruiz.
“Coach told me to shoot at the goal,” said Bogen, who then lined a shot toward the left post that dipped in front of Ruiz. The ball short-hopped its way off Ruiz’s hands and inside the right netting, tying the score at one, while Bogen reacted with pure shock at midfield.
Bogen felt some sympathy for Ruiz, who he said was a close friend, characterizing the play as “an unlucky bounce.”
But definitely a little lucky for Hanford.
“The saying goes you’ve got to shoot to score. I felt we weren’t testing the goalie enough in the first half,” Pardini said. “Any time you play here, you have to account for the wind. I thought it made a difference, and we made a few adjustments in the second half.”
The loss was an unsavory one for Richland, which still outshot Hanford 14-13 but failed to recapture the aggressiveness that marked the first 20 minutes of the game.
“We just didn’t follow the game plan like we wanted. The wind threw us off our game,” Bombers midfielder Jonathan Larsen said. “Hanford came out ready to play.”
In the shootout, Larsen stepped up with the Bombers’ first shot, a low roller toward the right corner, but Thiel reacted quickly, diving to his left to stop the shot. Thiel also stopped Richland’s fourth shot by Juan Martinez, tipping a high liner off the top of the bar to put the Bombers in a precarious position.
Meanwhile, the Falcons’ shooters — Zarate, Nick Carlson, Bogen and Eduardo Barajas — all buried their shots with relative ease. When Barajas clinched the win, beating Ruiz with a careful but true shot inside the right post, he dashed away to the east sideline — away from his teammates. They caught him eventually, enveloping him in a happy mass of arms and legs.
“We knew we could get the monkey off our back with that first league win,” Pardini said.
Scoring—1, R, Kolby Nelson (Anders Lauridsen), 10:00; 2, H, Jacob Bogen, 46:00. Shootout goals (Hanford 4-2)—H, Mario Zarate, Nick Carlson, Bogen, Eduardo Barajas. R, Nicolas Reyes, James Olsen. Shots—H 13, R 14. Saves—H, Jacob Thiel 3. R, Damien Ruiz 3.
Kennewick 3, Walla Walla 2 (2OT): The Lions let a 2-0 lead slip away in the second half but won it in overtime with a goal by Ramiro Chavez.
Kennewick had to overcome the loss of a pair of starting defenders but jumped out to a two-goal lead with goals by Chavez and Edward Granados-Lopez.
But the Blue Devils responded with a tally by Francisco Sanchez in the 51st minute and the equalizer by Ricardo Saldana in the 68th minute.
“We were a little disorganized, but the boys pulled together,” Lions coach Brian Gochoel said.
Scoring—1, K, Ramiro Chavez (Danny Uribe), 31:00; 2, K, Edward Granados-Lopez (Chavez) 49:00; 3, WW, Francisco Sanchez 51:00; 4, WW, Ricardo Saldana (PK) 68:00; 5, K, Chavez (Uriel Ramirez) 83:00. Shots—K 14, WW 12. Saves—K, Henry Hernandez 6. WW, Antonio Meza 8.
Pasco 1, Chiawana 0 (SO): Jon Rojas stopped the first shootout attempted and Miguel Chavez connected on the last to lead the Bulldogs to a Mid-Columbia win over the Riverhawks at Edgar Brown Stadium.
“It was good defense,” Pasco coach Matt Potter said, noting a combined 11 shots for the two teams. “Both teams were able to keep good possession. ... Overall, it was a pretty even contest. Each team had couple good chances. ... It was a well-played game overall.”
Shootout goals (5-4)—n/a. Shots—Pasco 6, Chiawana 5. Saves—Pasco, Jon Rojas 5; Chiawana, Fernando Gutierrez 5.
Kamiakin 1, Southridge 0: Grayson Bailey scored in the seventh minute and goalie Wiley Schulman made it stand up for the Braves in a Mid-Columbia Conference game at the Suns’ home field.
Scoring—1, Kamiakin, Grayson Bailey (Jose Anguiano), 7:00. Shots—Kamiakin 5, Southridge 6. Saves—Kamiakin, Wiley Schulman, 6; Southridge, James Fort, 4.
Grandview 3, Othello 2 (OT): Victor Valencia scored a pair of goals, including the winner three minutes into overtime to lead the Greyhounds to a road win in the CWAC friendly.
Valencia came charging in on a cross from Israel Gonzalez and just beat the keeper to the ball to head in the score.
Scoring—1, O, Jason Rodriguez (Jacob Quiroz) 26:00; 2, G, Victor Valencia (Samuel Cuevas) 48:00; 3, G, Edwin Salgado (PK) 56:00; 4, O, Christian Herrera (Quiroz) 66:00; 5, G, Valencia (Israel Gonzalez) 83:00. Shots—Grandview 11, Othello 17. Saves—Grandview, Elmer Campuzano 4. Othello, Angel Rangel, Diego Suarez and Trevor Walker 7.
Connell 3, Mabton 0: Francisco Corona scored on a penalty kick in the 60th minute and Adsel Plaza made three saves in goal as the host Eagles earned the SCAC East victory.
Scoring—1, Connell, Jairo Virrueta, 14:20; 2, Connell, Francisco Corona, PK, 59:47; 3, Connell, Josue Diaz, 71:20. Shots—Mabton 5, Connell 12. Saves—Mabton, Kevin Garcia, 5; Juan Marcero, 4. Connell, Adsel Plaza, 3.