Old hat For Flores – three goals
Nestor Flores continued his assault on the Nevada 3A scoring title Wednesday, burying three goals en route to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Dayton Dust Devils in Zephyr Cove.
With the first 25 minutes producing few chances for either team, Flores finally broke the scoreless tie on a spectacular individual effort.
Receiving the ball from the left side, Flores took on nearly the entire Dust Devil back line as he juked and swerved his way through the box. The fantastic effort culminated with a head fake on the keeper, just before he slid the ball into the corner of the goal.
“I just focused on dribbling through and placing the ball,” Flores said. “I don’t usually go for power. I just place it.”
Flores got back to work minutes later when he received a great ball from forward Justin Haynes as he was streaking down the middle of the field. Breaking in nearly unchallenged, Flores “placed” another one past Dayton keeper George Pass.
“That was a great pass from Justin,” Flores said. “All I really had to do was strike it in.”
While the Warriors took a 2-0 lead into halftime, the Dust Devils weren’t about to quit.
Led by the solid goalkeeping of Pass and the outstanding hustle of defender Jesse Guitterez, the Devils were determined to get back in the game.
Minutes into the second half, their hard work paid off when Javier Vega got a shot off in the box to cut the Warrior lead in half.
However, with the goal, the Warriors seemed to sense a bit of urgency and they really began clicking.
“I think we really came together in the second half,” Warrior midfielder Kyle Bellotti said. “The first half we were struggling a bit, but we picked it up.”
Bellotti personally picked it up minutes after the Dust Devils’ only strike when he took a brilliant through-ball from Flores and broke in on the keeper, sending it past him at the last minute.
“I was just trying to help him (Nestor) out a bit in case he wanted to pass it off,” Bellotti said. “It was a beautiful assist.”
After Bellotti’s goal worked them back into a groove, the Warriors seemed to dominate the rest of the game.
Shorthanded Dayton, however, had to like its effort.
“We came out here hoping to win,” Pass said. “We were hoping to get a game with only 10 guys. We played a heck of a game, no subs, no nothing.”
Warrior coach Steve Maltase agreed with the opposing keeper.
“They showed a ton of heart and a ton of courage,” he said. “They never quit.”
While Maltase was happy with the end result, he knows his team has to pick it up as they begin division play this Saturday at North Tahoe.
“I’m happy to get the win,” he said. “But we still have breakdowns here and there that need to be eliminated.”
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Double-Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson earned her fifth Laax Open title in Switzerland on Thursday at the FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle season opener.