BOARDMAN — Even 20 mph gusts could not knock the wind out of Riverside, which extended its win streak to seven Saturday afternoon.
The Pirates (8-3, 7-0 EOL) scored three goals in the first half, and doubled that in the second to roll through visiting Umatilla (5-4-1, 4-2 EOL) 9-2 and stay undefeated in Eastern Oregon League play.
“We started off slow,” said Pirates senior forward Johan Pena, who chipped in two goals. “The wind was against us. We really couldn’t control the ball. We were a bit nervous.”
Riverside senior keeper Jose Torres knocked down five saves before the Pirates took control in the 16th minute when Pena assisted junior Adair Rodriguez in the match’s first goal.
“The weather sucked,” Riverside head coach Jose Duenas said, “but the team worked really hard for every goal they got today.”
Vikings junior midfielder Carlos Mejia responded 5 minutes later, sinking a goal into the lower right corner of Riverside’s net to knot the score.
“I felt like we had a good chance in the first half,” Mejia said, “but after conceding some goals, it fell apart.”
The Pirates scored two more goals before the final 10 minutes, including Ulyses Lopez’s goal that ended scoring at 11:19.
“Umatilla is a talented team. They’re tough,” Pena said. “We needed to get on the same page with each other. We needed to be confident with the ball.”
Riverside’s Gerardo Lopez had a shot on goal to open the second half, but Umatilla keeper Roberto Lugo got the save to keep the game close for just a few seconds more.
Pena got his match’s first goal in the 42nd minute to push the score to 4-1, and Rodriguez and senior Ezequiel Ramos got a goal each within the next 10 minutes. At 23:31, senior Christian Rea sunk a penalty kick for a 7-1 match.
“We’re steering away from that idea that only forwards get to score,” Duenas said. “I kept rotating positions, and they all adapted well. It’s all about the team effort.”
Mejia got the Vikings going again with his second goal with 15:28 left to play. Pena responded in the 76th minute with another score, and Lopez wrapped up the match connecting with the net for one final goal with 55 seconds remaining.
“Everything we did in practice, we put on the field,” Pena said. “Everything started clicking.”
The EOL’s top-ranked Pirates will play at Four Rivers on Thursday. The Vikings, whose loss Saturday halted a four-match win streak, will host Irrigon at 2 p.m. Tuesday.