Ontario boys soccer eyes league championships

Jaime Gonzalez (right) and Juan Corona (left) rush to gain control of the ball over Baker. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 4-2 last Saturday, Sept. 22. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

ONTARIO – The prime goal is always the same for the Ontario High School boys varsity soccer team – win the league championship.

The Tigers strove for that goal when they played their second league game last Saturday, earning a 4-2 win over the Baker Bulldogs. Senior Danny Rodriguez scored three goals, and Zekiel Parker scored the other.

The win gives the Tigers their second straight league victory, but Coach Jaime Gonzalez said they still have a lot to work on.

“Honestly, it wasn’t our best game,” said Gonzalez. “We have pretty high expectations with goals this year, and Baker was just another game that we had to get done. We still have a lot to do.”

Gonzalez said his players got the hint during half time that they weren’t playing their “better best.”

“We really just couldn’t connect our passes. They were not passing as smooth as they normally would, and they knew it,” said Gonzalez.

The Tigers suffered from a penalty, a foul and a missed opportunity to block the ball from the net. At one point, Ontario misjudged a goal kick on a pass by Baker, and the keeper “couldn’t manage to save it,” said Gonzalez.

He commended the Tigers for not giving their opponents the chance to score. He said Baker attempted to score six to eight times, while the Tigers made 20 attempts to score. The Tigers walked away last Saturday as the only undefeated team in the 4A-6 Greater Oregon League. Their next league game will be against La Grande Saturday at La Grande.

“That will be another big day,” said Gonzalez. 

But he said he’s still optimistic because “we just had a big game last week against McLoughlin, we haven’t beat them in four years.”

The Ontario coach knows his boys soccer team has chances at big things this fall.

“Like I said, we are shooting for goal championship,” said Gonzalez.

Reporter Kristine de Leon: [email protected] or 541-473-3377