Mateo Candanoza
Philomath sophomore Mateo Candanoza works with the ball during Monday night’s win over Sisters. Candanoza scored twice late in the second half in the 3-1 final. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

CORVALLIS — A quick equalizer in the first half to tie the score and two goals in the final 12 minutes boosted the Philomath High School boys soccer team to a 3-1 victory Monday night over Sisters.

Warriors sophomore Mateo Candanoza scored twice just 4 minutes apart late in the second half to put a cherry on top of an already exceptional performance on the pitch at Crescent Valley High School.

“Mateo was the player of the game … I challenged him before the game. He can be good, he can shine out there,” said PHS coach Dave Ellis, adding that he believes Candanoza is just scratching the surface in terms of his soccer capabilities.

Philomath controlled most of the game and had many more scoring opportunities than the visiting Outlaws, but did find itself in a hole early on. Sisters junior Richard Huffman found the net in the game’s fifth minute to give his team the lead.

“It couldn’t have started much worse but we got organized, we figured out a few things,” Ellis said. “We figured out our back four and are getting them sorted … We were tight in the defensive mid and when we got the ball, we were able to get through.”

Philomath’s defense did not allow much the rest of the night following the Huffman goal. The early deficit seemed to light a fire under the Warriors.

“When we played Cascade last week, we reacted after they scored,” Ellis said. “Maybe that was the mistake Sisters made is they scored early on us.”

PHS junior Mark Grimmer scored a key goal in the 13th minute to tie the score. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The goal came in the 13th minute with an effective pass from senior Andrew Mecham to set up junior Mark Grimmer.

“I haven’t been playing super well but I decided to go with pace, just do my thing like I know what to do,” Grimmer said. “I cut back like I usually do and just had it there. It seemed easy compared to how I played last week.”

Grimmer said teamwork was an important ingredient in Monday’s victory.

“We played like a team, we continued to pass to each other’s feet and it just all came together today,” he said. “We passed a lot better than we have been, through balls to feet and everything and that’s the part that made us better today.”

Candanoza seemed to be all over the field and he took advantage of two late opportunities to find the net. In the 69th minute, he scored off a rebound after senior Adam Hernandez had put the ball in play on a corner kick. Four minutes later, Candanoza dribbled through traffic and lopped the ball over the keeper for a 3-1 lead.

“Last year, I think we were down and had to come back as we were today, too,” Candanoza said. “We’re just now getting into shape.”

After going up by two goals, Philomath frustrated the Outlaws with its ball control.

Philomath and Sisters players fight for the ball in the corner late in the second half. The Warriors were frustrating the Outlaws with a ball-control strategy while protecting a two-goal lead. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

“I was really proud of how we managed the game the last 5 minutes and how we went and killed the ball in the corner and Teddy (Benbow) was milking the clock at the other end, that’s just good game management,” Ellis said. “In this game, it’s not that important but it’s also something you need to be able to do.”

Philomath has now won back-to-back games to even its record at 2-2. The team can catch its breath over the next few days before returning to CV’s field for a rematch with Stayton at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Philomath lost to the Eagles in its season opener, 7-2.

Sisters falls to 3-2 on the season with two straight losses.

Philomath 3, Sisters 1
Monday, March 22, at Crescent Valley HS, Corvallis
Sisters (3-2)101
Philomath (2-2)123
First Half: 1, Sisters, Richard Huffman, 5th minute; 2, Philomath, Mark Grimmer (Andrew Mecham), 13th minute.
Second Half: 3, Philomath, Mateo Candanoza, 69th minute; 4, Philomath, Mateo Candanoza, 73rd minute.

East Linn Christian 2, Philomath 1
Friday, March 19, at East Linn Christian Academy, Lebanon
Philomath’s JV records went to 0-2 on the season. … Philomath sophomore Teddy Benbow scored the lone goal for Philomath on a shot in the second half. … The JV Warriors were not scheduled to play Monday against Sisters. … The team’s next game is set for Tuesday at South Albany.

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