MOSCOW The Grangeville High School soccer team took the field for the first time Saturday, Aug. 20 at Moscow, where the Bears' big advantages -- size, experience, numbers and the home field -- proved too much for the upstarts to overcome.
Moscow won, 14-0.
Shorthanded due to the Idaho County Fair and harvest, the Bulldogs rarely maintained possession in Bears territory. Throughout the first half and early in the second half, whenever GHS pushed forward, it seemed, Moscow created a scoring chance on the counterattack.
For the first 15 minutes, the Bears misfired on every one of their chances -- either hammering their shots high over the bar, or wide, or within reach of Bulldogs keeper Mauricio Valle. After the Bears broke the tension by finishing off a calm play with a well-placed chip from just inside the penalty line at the center of the 18-yard box, they settled into a rhythm of advancing on the wings and sending clean crossing passes into the box -- some nearly parallel to the 18, others angling closer to the six-yard line.
The Bears gave Grangeville little time or space to possess the ball and the Bulldogs' short passes simply weren't sharp enough to let GHS attackers turn up-field with possession.
Moscow's players stood much taller at nearly all positions, but when Grangeville's longer passes went through, the Bulldogs' individual skills showed some shine.
GHS center back Patrick Schumacher stood out well, not only as the tallest Bulldog on the pitch, and not only for his presence on the Bulldogs' last defensive line, but also for a run that produced one of Grangeville's better scoring chances. Three Moscow defenders rallied to snuff it out without a shot.
Grangeville's best scoring chance of the first half came on a shot that went wide left off the foot of Alejandro Kopczynski, who tried to chip it over the Bears goalie.
Up next, Grangeville is set to play Timberlake at 4 p.m. Thursday Aug. 25 at Orofino.