COOS BAY — Drew Jones pulled his team into a huddle and told it not to worry, that the score wasn’t an accurate illustration of how the match went.
In Cottage Grove’s 6-1 win over the Marshfield Pirates in a nonleague boys soccer game Tuesday night, the Pirates conceded four first-half goals, two within a minute of each other, and failed to convert on two penalty kicks in the second half in a match that Jones was actually happy about.
“I think we got what we wanted out of (tonight),” Jones said. “We’ll get a film session this week. You like in the preseason to have an easier game, but Crater and Cottage Grove are good teams. They’re gonna play you hard.”
After its supposed-to-be first match of the year against Junction City was postponed (and still looking for a makeup date), Marshfield played to a 1-1 draw Saturday with Crater, but struggled at times against the big and physical Lions.
Cottage Grove took the initiative early, peppering Pirates keeper Jose Ramirez with shots. Ramirez, a junior, kept them all out until the 14th minute, when the Lions finally broke through.
Kyle Conley put Cottage Grove ahead then when he scored on a nice through pass from Kyle Browning.
Unfortunately for Marshfield, it failed to move on from that initial goal and quickly conceded a second when a Marshfield defender misplayed a loose ball in front of the box, and Konrad Raum collected it and beat Ramirez.
“We kind of forgot about the game and we had a whole game to play,” Marshfield's Cody Eastwood said of quickly conceding Raum’s goal. “Other than that, we played a pretty good game. Attitudes were pretty good.”
Later, in the 25th minute, Ramirez turned away two Browning shots, but couldn’t get in front of a third from George Cervantes to put Cottage Grove up 3-0.
In the 28th minute, Marshfield sophomore Pedro Casas sent a free kick in and found Eastwood, who found a channel and sent in a shot for Marshfield’s only goal of the night.
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have given up six, but we should’ve scored more than one,” Jones said.
Four minutes later, Browning finally got a goal when he beat Ramirez to put Cottage Grove up 4-1.
In the second half, Marshfield’s defense shored up some and its offense was crisper. Instead of having possessions “die at their feet,” as Jones said, the Pirates moved the ball and got it into dangerous positions. A couple times, though, Lions keeper Zach Stewart aggressively left the crease or even the box to end Marshfield attacks.
Twice, though, Pirate attackers drew fouls in the box. The first time, in the 58th minute, Timmy Chang hit the crossbar with his penalty kick and an offside call ended the threat. Later, in the 71st, Miguel Flores drew the in-the-box penalty and took the PK, launching it high over the bar.
Cottage Grove added goals in the 46th and 48th minutes by Conley and Cervantes.
It put the finishing touches on a match that, from the outside, was ugly. Marshfield, though, knows better.
“Yeah, it was a 6-1 game that we lost, but it didn’t feel like that,” Eastwood said. “It was a good effort, it was a good game. I think we just got unlucky. It’s not as bad as it looks.”
Marshfield hosts Sutherlin on Saturday at 6 p.m. in its final tuneup before facing the combined Coquille-Myrtle Point team to open Far West League play next Tuesday.