BOARDMAN — For the seventh time this season, Riverside proved they were untouchable.
The Eastern Oregon League’s top-ranked girls soccer team posted a 5-0 shutout over the visiting Nyssa Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon for its seventh match of the season in which it didn’t allow a goal.
It would be the second time the Pirates kept the Bulldogs without a goal, following their 4-0 victory at Nyssa earlier in this fall.
“They’re a challenging team,” Riverside senior forward Neftali Pacheco said of the Bulldogs. “They put a lot of pressure on us, but we’ve been practicing a lot on our control.”
Pacheco and Pirates senior forward Yoanna Lopez both had early shots on goal within the opening five minutes of the match, but were stopped short by Nyssa junior keeper Paola Trinidad. Trinidad was able to grab one more save before Riverside sophomore midfielder Valeria Echevarria sunk the match’s first goal at 27:47.
Pacheco turned around to score another goal not two minutes later, and did the same again at 19:57 to keep the Pirates ahead 3-0. Riverside hit a minor roadblock when sophomore forward Marisol Pacheco was walked off the field with a leg injury, suffered after attempting a goal, but the Bulldogs still remained scoreless as the Pirates held onto their advantage by the buzzer.
“We were trying to analyze how (Nyssa was) playing in the beginning,” Riverside coach Carlos Velasco said. “We were passing the ball well. They brought a lot of pressure, but they got tired as the game went on.”
Marisol Pacheco was back on the field to start the second half and knocked down two back-to-back shots on goal in the 49th minute, but could not connect. Neftali Pacheco took matters into her own hands, completing a hat trick at 24:47, sinking a goal into the bottom left corner of the Bulldogs’ net.
“The chemistry was there today,” she said. “Everything was working. We played really well as a team. We always want to make sure we’re focusing on our teamwork.”
Junior midfielder Cynthia Diaz capped off scoring with a goal in the 63rd minute. Meanwhile, Nyssa couldn’t slip past Riverside sophomore keeper Areli Cambero.
“It’s the way that we practice. We want to pass the ball to whoever has the best chance to score,” Velasco said. “In practice, we always work on sharing the ball. Our passing was great today. The girls gave the ball to the player with the best shot.”
The Pirates (10-2-2, 6-0-1) will finish the regular season at 4 p.m. Wednesday with a road match against the Irrigon Knights.