Boys soccer: Montgomery eases past Analy 3-1

By RICHARD J. MARCUS
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Analy goalkeeper Alex Coronel makes a save during Tuesday's game at Montgomery. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Analy goalkeeper Alex Coronel makes a save during Tuesday’s game at Montgomery. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

In an early season non-league boys’ soccer battle between heavyweight teams in the North Bay and Sonoma County leagues, it was host Montgomery that imposed its will on Analy on Tuesday night.

The convincing 3-1 win by Montgomery (3-1-1) was a dominating performance in which the Vikings controlled possession and created scoring chances at regular intervals.

“Montgomery is the best team in Sonoma County,” Analy (4-2) coach Peter Meechan said. “They are a ready-made team. We are a work in progress and will be better three weeks from now.”

See game photos here

The teams tied 0-0 at Analy last season. The Tigers play on grass while Montgomery plays on turf, which suits its ball-control style.

“Montgomery’s whole game is geared to the turf,” Meechan said. “This was our first game on the turf. It took us a while to get adjusted to it. Playing on turf is a whole different ballgame.”

“Analy is always viewed as the favorite of the SCL so we wanted this game,” Montgomery coach Jon Schwan said.

The Vikings took charge from the get-go and scored on a long 28-yard blast by Evan Martinez in the 11th minute. The sizzler hit the back of the net before Analy goalie Alex Coronel could make a move.

“Analy gave us a lot of space in the center midfield and we just dominated it,” Martinez said. “I just took advantage of the space that they gave me.”

Leading 1-0 Montgomery, had its only letdown of the game, surrendering a goal less than a minute later. In the 12th minute, Vikings goalie Jordan Page came out of the box halfway allowing the Tigers’ Ash Rand-McNeil to loft a 15-yarder that hit the left post and caromed in for a 1-1 tie.

“Jordan shouldn’t have come out on that one, he got caught in no-man’s land,” Montgomery coach Jon Schwan said. “I thought we were a little naïve after we scored our first goal.”

The tie was short-lived as the Vikings scored the go-ahead goal 30 seconds later in the 13th minute. Montgomery’s Jay Schlesinger took a pass from Martinez (assist) and drilled a 24-yard shot to the right top-shelf.

“Our first two goals were gorgeous, Schwan said. “Analy’s keeper was frozen. They were wonderful strikes.”

With Montgomery leading 2-1 early in the first half it played keepaway for the rest of the game, neutralizing Analy’s somewhat disorganized attack.

“Montgomery is just a quality team. They controlled the tempo and the ball,” Meechan said. “They had the numbers in the middle and had the advantage.”

The Vikings tacked on an insurance goal in the 48th minute for a 3-1 lead. Martinez booted in a low 15-yard shot.

“It was a poor clearance on Analy’s part,” Martinez said of his second goal. “I had a 50-50 ball and I just cut it to the side and kicked it.”

“All three of Montgomery’s scores were quality goals,” Meechan said.

In addition to controlling possession, Montgomery had a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal.