Macias, Pirates advance
Jalisco Macias was slowed by a foot injury earlier in the season.
But the Phoenix High three-year starter is finding his touch at the most important time.
Macias scored one goal and assisted on three others as the Pirates posted a 5-1 play-in victory against Brookings-Harbor in Class 4A boys soccer Thursday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Phoenix (10-4) advanced to the 16-team playoff bracket and will likely host a game Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Park.
Macias, a senior striker, scored the first of three Phoenix goals in the first half. They came in a nine-minute span.
Macias took a pass in the 24th minute from David Espana and boomed a shot from 24 yards out that went inside the far post, just under the crossbar.
Macias assisted six minutes later when Luis Hernandez slipped a far-post shot from 10 yards past Brookings goalkeeper Chandler Gotfried.
Then in the 33rd minute, Jesus DeLaCruz dribbled through the Bruins' defense to the end line and found freshman Alex Vela, who finished from close range.
The Pirates outshot Brookings 11-1 in the opening period.
"We had to work hard to get them backed up and out of their game," Phoenix coach Dennis Flenner said. "We took their transition game away and controlled the game on their half of the field. It's the way we drew it up on the clipboard."
The Bruins cut their deficit to 3-1 when Tyler Snow converted off a corner kick in the 52nd minute.
But Phoenix answered with goals in the 55th and 59th minutes by Hunter Sunitsch and David Espana. Macias assisted on both goals.
"(Macias) is on a holy tear," said Flenner. "He's making a lot of things happen. Jalisco is not selfish. He works hard to get in position and lay the ball off to someone."
Sweeper Junior Esqueda was a stalwart in the Pirates' defensive end.
"He closed down their big attack," said Flenner. "Junior took away their best defensive threat, Dylan Roberts."
"We stepped up today," added Flenner. "The kids were relaxed, shot plenty of times and played well. We met our goals."
Reach reporter Frank Silow at 541-776-4480, or e-mail email@example.com