Virgin Valley midfielder Roman Perez began Monday’s match with Moapa Valley by attempting two early shots from a long distance and ended the game by hitting a goal from 25 yards out to give the Dawgs a 3-2 win. Prior to the start of the game Bulldog coach Chris Park exhorted his troops, “Don’t take them, (Pirates) lightly. We need to be serious; this is a rivalry game.”
The Bulldogs took their coach’s advice and came out on the attack. Perez had two shots at goal that went high before Christian Martinez broke free at the 16 minute mark but went left on his attempt. The Pirates drew first blood 27 minutes in on a corner kick to the front of the box and a subsequent follow through by Israel Rubio giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Although dominating the Pirates, the Bulldogs offense was stymied by offside penalties throughout the half. Bulldog Miguel Escobedo tied the match up 1-1 with three minutes remaining in the period.
The Dawgs continued to press the Pirates in the second half forcing the ball up field. A head shot by Sergio Rodrigues sailed over the goal. Three straight Bulldog corner kicks gave the Dawgs opportunities to score but their attempts went wide and high. The Pirates tied the match with 9 minutes remaining on a penalty kick in the box. Goalkeeper Hayden made a huge stop but the ball remained in the box giving the Pirates an easy shot on goal tying the match 2-2.
Four minutes later, Perez gave the Dawgs the win. What on paper should have been an easy win, the Dawgs were fortunate to get the win over a scrappy Pirate squad.