Lobos claim district title with 1-0 victory over Tyler Lee
By Rick Kretzschmar firstname.lastname@example.org
March 27, 2012 at 10 p.m.
Longview head boys soccer coach James Wright said on Tuesday it would be accurate to call his team lacking in stars, because the Lobos really don't have any right now. It would also be accurate to call his team district champions, thanks to a game on Tuesday which embodied their success - with a touch of irony.
That touch was how the Lobos scored the only goal they would need in a 1-0 win over Tyler Lee at Lobo Stadium which gave the Lobos the District 11-5A crown. The goal was by Leo Perez, a sophomore who has spent most of 2012 on the junior varsity before getting promoted this week for his second varsity game of this season.
Perez scored from five yards out with 20:23 left in the first half. He set up by a perfect interior pass by Stephen Bradley.
"We were just trying to get the ball down the middle and I guess their guy forgot to mark me," Perez said. "The pass was really good."
If Longview (14-3-6, 8-2-0 in 11-5A) had lost, the Lobos could have been passed by North Mesquite if the Stallions defeated DeSoto on Tuesday, but the victory made the possibility moot and gave the Lobos their first district title since 2006. The victory also sets up Longview's Class 5A bi-district playoff, which will be against Harker Heights next Tuesday at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana starting at 6 p.m. It is the first game of a Longview postseason doubleheader as Longview's girls team will play Copperas Cove in the nightcap.
After the goal, Longview's defense took over, allowing Lee just five shots on goal for the game. Wright said his entire defense, including standout fullbacks such as Celso Alejandro and Quillian Briceno, played well.
Wright said the defense got stronger as the game went on, doing a good job in the second half of marking standout Lee forward such as Ernesto Garcia and Reed Pool.
Wright said chemistry which was lacking in Friday's 2-1 loss at Mesquite Horn returned. Wright said the chemistry was rattled because midfielder Jose Corona missed Friday's game with a strained muscle in his right leg, an injury which limited his playing time on Tuesday as well. Standout forward Israel Madrid also didn't play because of a hamstring injury, an ailment Wright said may keep him out against Harker Heights as well.
"On defense we just made sure to stay with our guys," Alejandro said. "We did a better job of clearing the ball, especially for looking for somebody to pass to."
Tyler Vincent and Miguel Cabrera combined in goal for the shutout, the seventh for the Lobos this season and fourth in 11-5A play. Austin Martel made nine saves for Lee (12-6-5, 5-3-2), which is also playoff bound with time, date and site to be determined.
After the buzzer sounded, Wright received two waves of celebration, first having a bucket of water dumped on him, then being dogpiled by most of the team. Alejandro some of the excitement was caused by critics which doubted them.
"I think most people thought we would finish second, third," Alejandro said. "We proved them wrong."
Despite being in wet clothes, Wright was able to bask in his second title since being named Longview's head coach in 2003. Wright said thinking back to the 2006 team – which included some of the best players in recent Longview history in Isaiah Ponce and Sergio Perez – the 2012 team has a considerably different feel.
"We did have to scrap to win this," Wright said. "The way we won this and other games this year, I think this championship means more to me."
Longvew had a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal. Bradley nearly made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute, but his high-arcing shot from about 30 yards out went off the left post.
Lee had two good scoring chances early. Set up by a good pass by Pool, Brett Howlett had a shot from five yards from the right, but his attempt went just left of the left goal post. Garcia had a blast from 25 yards in the 12th minute which went off the left post.
Longview had a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. Longview's best scoring chance was in the 50th minute as Jesus Soto set up Jose Sarmiento from 10 yards out, but he was denied by Martel.
Lee's Jorge Arellano had a blast from 25 yards out in the 47th minute, but it went just over the crossbar.