The Rochester boys soccer team’s season got off to a tough start Saturday, in a 4-0 loss to 3A Evergreen in a non-league matchup.
“I was very pleased with the way we played today against a bigger 3A school,” Rochester coach Matt Ashton said. “I believe the boys learned a good lesson today that they can compete with any school, but have to make sure we do not let the emotional part of the game get to them.”
The Warriors — who came in with just 13 bodies while waiting for more players to get enough practices in to be eligible — learned that lesson the hard way Saturday, going down a man less than a quarter of the way through the match due to a red card.
Rochester held out nearly the rest of the first half before the man disadvantage finally took its toll, with Evergreen scoring in the 38th minute. Despite the deficit on the scoreboard and in players, the Warriors had a golden chance to even things up a minute later, winning a penalty kick, but couldn’t convert.
Coming out of the break, Rochester kept the gap at a goal for nearly 25 minutes, but the short rotation took its toll eventually, with Evergreen doubling its lead in the 64th minute before scoring again right away in the 66th, and making it 4-0 for good measure in the 78th.
“Our boys put up a good battle, but were tired due to the lack of substitutes and having to play a man down,” Ashton said. “Our defensive line played well today, specifically two freshmen in Jordan Perete and Huber Jimon-Ojeda.”
Ashton also singled out Jaime Rodriguez for having a good game in the midfield, playing all 80 minutes without ever getting subbed out.
Rochester (1-0) will be back at home for its 2A EvCo opener Tuesday, hosting Black Hills.