MILTON-FREEWATER — Kael Castruita sealed the Pioneers’ trip to the quarterfinals in just five minutes.
On Wednesday evening, the McLoughlin junior forward scored the match’s one and only goal to help the Pioneers take down the visiting Hidden Valley Mustangs 1-0 in round one of the 4A boys soccer state playoffs.
The goal came not even five minutes into the contest.
“It was a pretty tough match,” Mac-Hi head coach Jose Garcia said. “(Hidden Valley) is big, aggressive, and fast.”
Castruita posted another goal in the second half, but a penalty on the play negated the score. The Skyline Conference’s third-ranked Mustangs could never manage a response.
“We adjusted in the second half,” Garcia said. “We played the first half up in the air. That’s not how we play. That’s not our style. We put the ball on the ground in the second half and got things going.”
With the win, the Greater Oregon League’s No. 2 Pioneers will hit the road to Valley Catholic for a quarterfinals matchup. The Valiants took down Cottage Grove 1-0 in the first round on Wednesday.