Missael Lopez scored two second-half goals, including the go-ahead, for Walla Walla Community College as the Warriors pulled off a 4-2 comeback win over Wenatchee Valley in Northwest Athletic Conference men’s soccer action on the WWCC Tausick Way pitch on Wednesday.
Second-place Walla Walla (8-3-0 overall, 5-2-0 in the region) erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with four straight goals, the first two by Lopez, before Wenatchee could answer.
The Warrior win enabled them to pull within a half-game of East-leading Columbia Basin (5-1 record), which was idle Wednesday. The Hawks last played on Saturday, a 2-1 loss at Walla Walla.
“We had a great performance last weekend against CBC and came out very flat today,” Warriors coach Ben Rotert said. “I was very proud of how we responded in the second half. We are still making some mental mistakes that we will continue to work through but happy with our response. We had a lot of guys step up today in different spots which is great to see and really shows the depth of our team.”
Walla Walla will play its next match at last-place Blue Mountain (1-5-0 record) on Oct. 11. The Timberwolves lost to Spokane, 3-0, on Wednesday.
The Warriors got off to a rocky start after Saturday’s big win here, and found themselves in a 1-0 hole at halftime as Wenatchee’s Micah Ching converted a penalty kick shortly before the break.
However, Walla Walla then put four shots past Wenatchee goal keeper Jose Chairez.
Lopez tied things up off a scramble in front of the goal 12 minutes into the second half. McLoughlin High graduate Juan Martinez assisted him on the score, and Andres Arroyo set up the former Pioneer with a cross.
About 12 minutes later, Lopez punched home a penalty kick for a 2-1 lead after a Wenatchee defender took him down in the box.
With about 25 minutes still remaining, the Warriors were far from finished.
Walla Walla’s Alex Sotelo made it a 3-1 game at the 76th minute on another cross from Arroyo, this time a snap shot between two Wenatchee defenders back across goal.
Sotelo then helped the Warriors added some cushion to their lead five minutes later, finding Freddy Rodriguez alone in front of the goal for a 4-1 lead.
Wenatchee finally got back on the board at the 86th minute, when Ching tallied his second unassisted goal of the game, but the Warriors held on.