Texarkana Gazette

Texas High drops close match to Sabine

- By John Delk

GLADEWATER, Texas — The Texas High Boys Soccer Team came up short in an away against the Sabine Cardinals on Tuesday. It took the Tigers a while to get their footing after a slow start on the swampy pitch. Ultimately, their efforts fell just short with a final score of 6-5 in favor of the Cardinals.

Sabine got on the board only 5 minutes into the match when a Sabine forward broke through the Tiger back line and finished with a goal.

Austin Miller brought the Tigers level at 1-1 with a goal in the 25th minute and almost had another opportunit­y a minute later with a shot from 25 yards out that hit the post. In the 36th minute the Tiger felt they had a goal when Miller seemingly converted a precision pass from Juan Carlos Coc Coc. That goal was disallowed due to an offside call.

With less than three minutes to go in the half Sabine scored its second goal and took a 2-1 lead to locker room at the half.

The Tigers came out fighting in the second half with several opportunit­ies before

Sabine doubled its lead with a goal in the 47th minute. The Tiger had several close chances that just did not find the net including five shots in succession from inside the Sabine penalty area before the defenders finally cleared the ball.

The Tiger frustratio­n gained a reprieve in the 53rd minute with another goal by Miller. The Cardinals didn’t allow the Tigers much solace though as they again broke through the Tiger press for back to back breakaway goals in the 57th and 58th minutes. With 20 minutes remaining the Tigers we down 5-2.

A rocket shot from Reece Gaylor in the 60th minute brought the Tigers back into the match.

The Tiger hopes appeared to wane again in the 66th minute when a Cardinal attacker fell to the ground just inside the Tiger penalty area and a penalty kick was awarded. Before the kick was taken, Oscar Hernandez received a yellow card for dissent as he protested the veracity of the call. Sabine converted the shot for their final goal of the match.

The Tigers continued the fight, finally playing the possession game they wanted to play all match. This bore fruit in the 73rd minute when Miller scored his third goal of the match. In the 78th minute Alijah Garza took a pass from Joseph Minor for a boomed goal, shocking the Cardinals and sparking a Tiger frenzy to find the equalizing goal.

That goal never came, but the Tigers were still clawing when the match ended on a Texas corner kick that was headed just over the crossbar.

Sabine players scoring in the match were Lalo Jaime (four goals), Oscar Gonzalez, and Chris Sanchez.

“Texas High is much improved from last year and should make some noise in their district,” said Sabine Coach Wayne Borden.

“Our boys played really hard especially on the attacking end,” said Texas High Coach Jesus Deleon. “We have noticed some patterns that we will adjust, but the boys didn’t quit when they were down and never gave up — even to the very last minute.”

(The Tiger junior varsity begins tournament play in Shreveport tonight against Byrd High at Cargill Park. The Varsity team opens district play at Maverick Stadium in Marshall Friday at 7 p.m.)

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