WARRENTON The Astoria Fishermen were playing their third game, while the Cascade Cougars were making their 2013 season debut Tuesday afternoon, in a nonleague boys soccer game at Hal Snow Volunteer Field in Warrenton.
And it showed.
After two nonleague contests against some very good competition (Catlin Gabel and La Salle), the Fishermen had no problem with the Cougars, as they ran circles around Cascade in a 3-1 Astoria win.
With the victory, Astoria avenged a 2-0 loss to the Cougars last year at Cascade.
Their game against Seaside (last Thursday) was canceled, so they were playing their first game, Astoria coach Bill Patterson said of the Cougs. And realistically, we were playing our seventh, following our preseason tournament. So we should have won this one, and we should have been the better team.
And they were, as the Fishermen put a boatload of pressure on the Cascade defense, spending most of the game on the Cougars end of the field.
I was real pleased with our effort, Patterson said. Weve come a long way. And not to distract from the play of our freshmen those first two games, but it was huge having Jordan Gagnon back. He really helps with the pressure and is able to handle the physical load.
Astoria scored in the 12th minute, when junior Ben Beeson sent a ball up the center of the field, where junior teammate Josh Long picked up the dribble and sent a shot past the Cascade keeper for a 1-0 lead.
A foul called in the penalty area on the Cougars in the 21st minute resulted in the first of two penalty kicks for Beeson, who shot the first PK into the lower left of the net to give Astoria a 2-0 halftime edge.
The Fishermen turned the pressure up a notch in the second half, and that resulted in several more shots on goal.
Astoria finished the second half with a 15-1 advantage in shots on goal, but all they had to show for it was one goal, when Beeson converted a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box with 3:36 remaining.
The Cougars scored on their lone shot in the 47th minute.
That was the only thing I was unhappy about, Patterson said. Weve got to get more goals in the field we were too far out several times, so we need to be about 10 yards closer in before we take those.
Astorias back line though inexperienced also improved, with solid games from Alex Junes, Rory Loughran, Jason Keating and Rafael Alcantar.
Cascade is a good team, Patterson said. Theyre well-coached, and they will be a lot better once they play some games, so Im real pleased with where were at, referring to Astorias 2-1 overall record, with one more nonleague game (Sept. 17) remaining, before Cowapa League play begins.