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Brewster jumps into first

Bears hold slim half-game lead

— Cristian Talavera required only a minute to snatch victory from defeat in a 2-1 Brewster win over Chelan in a Caribou Trail League soccer match Tuesday.

The win elevated the Bears, 4-0, into first place in the CTL, a half-game ahead of Quincy at 3-0.

Chelan jumped on the scoreboard in the third minute with a goal by freshman Cristian Barajas.

“After that (Barajas’ goal), we struggled to get things together and were scoreless the rest of the game,” Chelan assistant coach Jim Broome said. “Chelan had some good opportunities, but was unable to find the back the net again.”

Brewster played the rest of the way at times like a boa constrictor, squeezing the ball forward, and for a couple minutes played like a cougar, pouncing on opportunities.

Brewster continuously increased the pressure on Chelan the rest of the first half and most of the second half.

Former Brewster assistant coach Jesse Villalobos looked like a general handing out orders at halftime, hunched down in front of the Bears, telling them the major thrust must be passing the ball — a lot — to wear out Chelan.

“We’re young,” said Brewster coach Ernie Santos, who started three seniors. “It just happens that way. We were dominating. We knew we had to break through some time.”

At just about the mid-point of the second half, Brewster substituted senior Juan Perez on the left wing.

What was not obvious was a shift on the front line, with sophomore Cristian Talavera taking middle forward.

“I think when we switched off the forwards, it distracted them a little bit,” assistant coach David Garcia said. “The intensity was different.”

Perez quickly sent a looping kick past Chelan defender Alex Bravo and over several Chelan players.

Talavera swooped in, taking the ball high off his chest before evading a high kick by Chelan sophomore Livan Barajas, who tried to hook his foot around Talavera to deflect the ball and slow the play down.

Talavera, who was the youngest member of the elite Spokane Shadow under-17 soccer team last summer and was a second team all league selection as a freshman, stayed on his feet. He quickly sped past Livan Barajas and Juan Garcia, a junior, for a one-on-one with Chelan goalkeeper Miguel Sanchez.

“I got a through ball in the air on my chest and it ended up in the (right side of the) net,” Talavera said of tying goal in the 59th minute.

A minute later, Talavera sped past defenders on a long pass from freshman Edgar Najera on the right side.

Sanchez, a senior, blocked Talavera’s shot on goal. The ball rolled a few feet away, where Talavera stepped to it and drove home the winner from less than 10 feet out.

“I got another through ball,” said Talavera, who celebrated with a cartwheel. “I kicked it and the goalkeeper stopped it. I kicked it again.”

Brewster continued to pressure Chelan the rest of the way, with Alex Mendez and Ricardo Garcia each having open looks before their kicks just missed the goal.

Brewster finished with 18 shots on to 13 for Chelan.

Brewster’s roster includes five freshmen and five seniors, compared to four ninth-graders and eight seniors for Chelan.

CTL play resumes Tuesday with Omak (0-5 overall, 0-4 league) at Brewster (4-0, 3-0), Tonasket (2-3, 0-3) at Okanogan (3-2, 2-2), Chelan (2-1-1, 2-0) at Cascade (1-1-1, 1-1) and Quincy (3-2, 3-0) at Cashmere (1-3, 1-2).

Brewster plays at Quincy on April 12 to determine an early leader in the CTL.

In the North-Central B League, Bridgeport (3-2, 0-0) is at Liberty Bell (5-0, 1-0) on Tuesday.

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