Pirates rally to stay alive in soccer playoffs
April 8, 2014 at 11 p.m.
FORNEY - Pine Tree head coach Andre Lo is certain that his team plays with a never-say-die attitude.
His team proved him right on Tuesday night at City Bank Stadium.
Trailing 2-0 just 12 minutes into the Pirates' Class 4A Region II quarterfinal, Pine Tree rallied from the two-goal deficit, scoring four unanswered goals to knock off North Dallas, 4-2, and punching the Pirates' ticket to the regional tournament.
Allan Maceda netted two goals in the win for Pine Tree. Juan Paz added a penalty kick and True Clark capped in the comeback with an exclamation point, finding the net from 35 yards out for the 4-2 final.
"We didn't give up. That's our thing," Maceda, a sophomore with six postseason goals, said. "We always work as a team and we know to never give up and we overcame."
North Dallas opened furiously, placing two shots on goal in the first seven minutes of the match. They took the lead off a 27-yard, off-the-post strike from Daniel Ruano. North Dallas extended the lead to 2-0 quickly at the 28-minute mark with Ruano finding Enrique Galvan from the corner.
But that was it for North Dallas.
"We made a couple of errors and they took advantage of them," Lo said. "We were rattled a little bit. We had chances and we knew we were going to get it in, we just had to settle down a little bit."
North Dallas recorded three-straight shots, all saved by Pine Tree keeper Jared Jimenez before Maceda cut the margin in half with an 18-yard strike from the right side with four minutes left in the opening half.
"The turning point was Allan's goal in the first half. It was big," Lo said. "I knew that we had to attack the box and that's what Allan did."
Pine Tree flipped the script in the second half, notching the first three shot attempts of the second half. North Dallas held a 6-3 shots on target advantage in the opening half before the Pine Tree defense held them without one until 12:56 left in the contest.
"We knew we were going to have to pick up the tempo and play physical," Lo said of Pine Tree's halftime adjustments.
Maceda broke free into the box at the 14-minute mark, drawing a North Dallas penalty. Paz then converted the equalizing goal off a penalty kick.
Jimenez thwarted to quick North Dallas strikes before Maceda netted a volley from 12 yards out on the left side to put the match in Pine Tree's favor, 3-2, with 3:39 left to play.
"My teammate had the ball, I called for it and he kicked it over the defense," Maceda said. "The goalie came out, I looked up and tapped it in."
Clark sealed the dramatic comeback with style, netting a 35-yard goal from the left side with under minute left on the clock.
Pine Tree joins District 32-4A opponent Hallville in the regional tournament, which begins Friday in Carrollton. The Pirates will face the winner of Wakeland-Poteet at 2:30 p.m.
"I'm very proud of the 32-4A district," Lo said. "We've got two teams going to regionals. That district has prepared us for what's next.
"It helped us and says a lot about East Texas soccer."