The result is one Alleman boys' soccer coach James Johannes will take.|
Johannes, though, will not embrace the performance.
"We were playing too relaxed," Johannes said after the fourth-seeded Pioneers' 7-0 victory over No. 5 Riverdale in the Class 1A Alleman Regional quarterfinal at McKenzie Field on Friday. "We were playing like we knew we were going to win the game and we hadn't won it yet."
What frustrated Johannes the most is Alleman (8-11-2) shutting down offensively after a quick start. Caleb Ward and Angel Vargas gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead in the seventh minute after scoring on their first two shots of the match.
After that, Alleman had eight more shots and no goals in the final 33 minutes of the first half. The Pioneers had several scoring chances, but constantly missed the goal and struggled to connect passes in their offensive third of the field.
"We hit a wall," Johannes said.
That allowed Riverdale (0-13-1) to snag some confidence.
"In the first half," Riverdale coach Jared Barber said, "you could see our progress from the season."
Despite a two-goal advantage, the Pioneers took no joy in their lead.
"Not a whole lot was said at halftime," said Johannes, whose team meets top-seeded Monmouth-Roseville in Wednesday's regional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. "I kind of gave them the silent treatment. They know they weren't playing well. Pretty much everyone here knew we weren't playing well."
Alfonso Toscano helped alter the mood. Two goals from Toscano in a 38-second span doubled the Alleman lead in the 44th minute. Five minutes later, William Graham continued the flurry with a goal.
Shawn Malcolm added a goal in the 63rd minute and Joe Philibert capped the scoring 12 minutes later.
That closing stretch provided the Pioneers with some momentum, but still could not overshadow a slow start.
"I'm not overly happy. I'm not satisfied," Johannes said. "Playing like that is not going to get it done against Monmouth-Roseville. The boys know that -- they know they didn't play their best."
Still, the Pioneers, who earned a 4-2 win over Monmouth-Roseville on Sept. 20, believe this regional is within their grasp despite a disappointing postseason start.
"All seeds go out the window," Johannes said. "We're very confident going in."
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