By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Mac boys soccer earns its brownies vs. Indians

Early in McMinnville’s 6-0 win Saturday vs. Roseburg in the first round of the 6A state playoffs, boys soccer player Javier Anguiano missed two easy shots on goal. He had been there before, and missing those shots didn’t bother him.

“Everybody gets frustrated,” Anguiano, a senior said. “You have to change that in playoffs and stay positive. Just keep on going and trying to score goals.”

McMinnville (12-2-1) hosts West Salem (12-2-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the second round.

Anguiano’s persistence paid off Friday, and with 11:28 left in the first half, he put a shot past Roseburg’s goalie that opened the floodgates for the Grizzlies.

McMinnville interim coach Jeff Autencio said Anguiano started the season missing some shots.

“Before he got his first one of the season he had I don’t know how many shots on goal,” Autencio said. “When he got that first one you could just see a ton of relief off his shoulders.”

What followed was a strong senior season for Anguiano, who transferred from Dayton. He played on the junior varsity at McMinnville his freshman year before playing two season on the varsity at Dayton, including last season’s semifinal team.

“It’s good to be back out here in the playoffs,” Anguiano said. “I love it. I was gone for two years. I wanted to finish my senior year here. These people, these kids, my teammates, I just love them. I just love being around them. They’re fun guys.”

Autencio said Anguiano was more than welcome.

“Javi’s huge,” Autencio said. “One more threat with the offensive players we already have is really tough for others to contend with.”

That was on display Saturday. After Anguiano’s goal, Martin Cortes Perez and Nicholas Autencio both scored to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead at the half. Moises Diaz scored Mac’s fourth goal, Autencio Mac’s fifth, and Hans Pallesen scored the final goal of the match.

Jeff Autencio said players knew before the match that two of the No. 1 seeds in the 6A tournament (Grant and North Medford) had been upset earlier in the day, and he wanted to impart a crucial lesson.

“The point we tried to get across to them is that anybody can beat anybody on any given night if you’re not here to play,” he said. “From here on out, every match is important. … It’s a one-game season.”

That mentality will be in sharp focus tonight vs. West Salem, which beat Lake Oswego in the first round. Nicholas Autencio said winning their first match is something players shouldn’t be content with it.

“I don’t think anyone is content with it,” he said. “Our goal is to win a state title and we have to go from one match to the next. … It’s going to be a battle.”

The Grizzlies were slow to get started Friday, but once they did get going, it was hard for them to be stopped. The elder Autencio said he wants them to be aggressive again early. If they take enough shots, eventually something will get through.

“We’re going to go out and continue to do what we do and put ourselves in a position to be successful,” he said.

The winner of tonight’s match will play the winner of the Hillsboro-Lincoln match in the quarterfinals Saturday.

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