Richmond High soccer falls 2-1 to Monte Vista

on February 3, 2015

After a string of shutout wins, the Richmond High Oilers ran into a difficult matchup Saturday afternoon against visitors Monte Vista High School of Danville. Senior Addison Escobar scored to put Richmond up 22 minutes in, but Monte Vista forward Mike Shigo rose to head home two second-half goals to give the Mustangs a 2-1 win.

Richmond (15-4-1) enjoyed a majority of possession during the first half but missed several chances to score against a physical Monte Vista side. Oilers coach Rene Siles said the game was an important test as the team prepares to take on stronger competition in the upcoming playoffs.

“We were overmatched physically and it showed up, especially in the second half,” Siles said. “We took two goals on set plays. It gives us some good things to work on for the playoffs, which is why we play these games.”

The Oilers controlled possession during the early going, with the Mustangs mainly chasing. In the 22nd minute, senior Marco Alvarez stripped the ball from a Monte Vista defender in the right corner, and struck an arcing cross toward the back goalpost and inches over the head of a jumping defender. Escobar leaped and headed it past the Mustangs goalkeeper for a 1-0 Richmond lead.

The goal seemed to bring Richmond to life. Over the next 15 minutes, the Oilers had three dangerous chances, with Alvarez heading the ball over from close range and long shots from Miguel Birruete and Luis Mendoza fizzing just over the crossbar. But the misses proved costly.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Monte Vista struck back. After winning a free kick just inside Richmond territory, Mustangs midfielder Simon Fuentes lofted a booming kick onto the head of lanky forward Mike Shigo, who nudged it into the top right corner of the Richmond goal for a shocking 1-1 tie.

The game began to open up, with both teams winning free kicks and corner kicks, but neither capitalizing. With 18 minutes left, Monte Vista changed that with an almost carbon copy of their first goal. Fuentes, kicking from the same position next to the sideline just inside the Richmond half, found Shigo in the middle of the Richmond penalty box for another header and a 2-1 lead. Attempts by Richmond to get back in the game fell short, with the best chance coming in the dying seconds when Christian Garcia’s shot from close range swerved just wide of the right post.

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