Grangeville’s Saturday, Sept. 24 visit to St. Maries may turn into a preview of the Bulldogs’ first district tournament game in a couple weeks.
GHS played the Lumberjacks to a 2-2 tie.
Spreading the field and working the ball in from the wings, GHS opened the scoring with a pass from left wing Mauricio Valle to striker Jesus Perez, who buried it in the corner of the net.
At nineteen minutes, Valle, who started the season in goal, beat two defenders down the left side and sent a cross parallel with the top of the box to Ryan Ruklic, who out jumped St. Maries keeper Zach Hills to score on a header.
Leading 2-0, Grangeville controlled possession time for the majority of the first half, but in extra time, before the halftime whistle sounded, St. Maries midfielder Stephen Davenport caught Grangeville’s defense over-pursuing and sent a through ball to forward Matt Masterson for St. Maries’ first goal of the contest.
St. Maries struck again two minutes into the second half, as Masterson again found the back of the net.
St. Maries controlled time of possession during the second half.
GHS keeper Ethan Bonn denied their attacks and preserved the tie.
The Lumberjacks currently sit in the third seed position in the Intermountain League and could end up being the initial matchup for the Bulldogs at the district tournament in Coeur d’Alene on Oct. 8. Final pairings won’t be determined until just before the district tournament.
Coming — Grangeville (4-2-1) will visit Orofino Sept. 30 to host Priest River at 6 p.m.
Mike Connolley is one of three soccer coaches staffing the GHS soccer team in this, its first season.