Tornados Catch Early Fire But Fall 5-3 to Hot-Footed Blazers

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An early, third-minute goal from Yelm’s Israel Mendez wouldn’t be enough to jumpstart the Tornados (1-4 overall) to a win Monday night against Timberline (3-1), which ultimately ended in a 5-3 result favoring the Blazers.  

Mendez found another goal in the 76th minute off a 40-yard free kick from defender Adrian Forde-Nihipali to bring Yelm to three goals, but Blazers freshman wing Romeo Brown secured a hat trick off two penalties and a 30-minute tap-in to secure the Blazers a lead. 

Yelm had 13 shots on goal to Timberline’s 11, though the Blazers held the ball on longer possessions and offered fewer turnovers to the other team. While Brown led the night on shots-on-goal with five, Mendez led Yelm with four of his own off deep plays for the Tornados. 

“I think after the first 10 minutes, the second half, we got lazy,” said Yelm head coach Jay Dorhauer. “The first 10 minutes, we were playing good defense. We were pressing them in, then the guys just started hanging back and we started jumping in — it was lazy soccer for the last 30 minutes of the first half.” 

Within the last 20 minutes of the first half, the Tornados gave up three goals to Timberline’s hefty offense. Yelm continued to be quick off passes and made deep runs off the sides, but couldn’t break through sophomore keeper Sebastian Juvinao and the Blazers crowding defense. 

“The second half, I thought we played really good. We created chance after chance, but, again, we’re not finishing our chances. If we finish our chances, it’s a different story and we gave up two really bad goals,” Dorhauer said. “We gave up two bad goals, we got a terrible TK called against us and we didn’t finish all the chances we had.” 

Junior defender Martin Oseguera and junior midfielder Carlos Enriquez made quality conversions for the Tornados during the first half with clean possessions. “Paco” Lucatero looked hungry on the strike for Yelm and had wheels on multiple opportunities, but only found one shot on goal. 

At the end of the night, the Blazers were also more vocal than their Tornado counterparts, frequently calling out pressure, passes, defensive fallbacks and open spaces. 

Nick Boatright, the second-year coach for the Blazers, said he’s “never surprised by (Brown) because he’s a good player… I was happy for him and we wanted to get him in a lot of dangerous situations, and we talked a lot of that.” 

The South Sound Conference this year, Boatright said, is pretty leveled this year with many teams looking to make the best entering into the fifth week of a shortened, six-week season. 

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