Soccer: Ravens come up short in 3A fight vs. Todd Beamer

Last minute goal comes too late as Auburn Riverside scraps for a playoff spot.

Entering the final stretch of the regular season, Auburn Riverside boys soccer need some positive results to make a run in a 3A NPSL that is extremely crowded at the top of the standings. Unfortunately for Head Coach Randy Jones, his Ravens were on the wrong side of the coin against Todd Beamer on April 19, falling 3-2.

But for Jones, this season specifically, he hasn’t focused on winning all year. Rather, improving game in and game out because of the youth on his roster. “We’re young, I knew this was a building season. This was the first year I purposely don’t look at wins and losses… We played a phenomenal half against Auburn Mountainvew and the goal doing this is peaking at the right time, I still feel like they are playing phenomenal soccer with a young group,” Jones said.

Entering the game against Todd Beamer the Ravens were in fifth place, one point behind the Titans and just three points behind Auburn Mountainview.

The Ravens started the game on their back foot, allowing Todd Beamer to score the first goal of the game. But less than a minute later, Auburn Riverside found the back of the net. Sophomore forward, Guilexander Barajas stayed with a broke down clearance from Beamer to level the game at 1-1.

Todd Beamer broke the tie in stoppage time at the end of the first half and stole the momentum that Auburn Riverside had been using to their advantage in the first half.

In the 57th minute, Todd Beamer scored the third and what turned out to be the winning goal. That could have dampened the Ravens motivation and drive to compete. But the young squad doubled down and pushed the Titans to the end of the final whistle.

That effort was rewarded in the 79th minute on a free kick from Daniel Hernandez. After a Titan foul, Auburn Riverside sent the ball in deep across goal and just rolled its way into the net to cut the lead to 3-2. “100% the one thing I told them to work on after our last loss, was grit, stamina and raising the level of play goes further in a playoff type atmosphere like that,” said Jones.

The Ravens just ran out of time left on the clock to get that equalizing opportunity. By no means are they out of the playoffs either. To make the district tournament, Auburn Riverside has to be inside the top four of the league and sit in fifth right now, two points behind Auburn for that fourth spot.

“Are we where we need to be? No. But we are young have made such good progress if we get into the playoffs, I am expecting good things,” said Jones.

Raven forward Guilexander Barajas plays keep away against Todd Beamer. Photos by Ben Ray / The Reporter

Raven forward Guilexander Barajas plays keep away against Todd Beamer. Photos by Ben Ray / The Reporter