The playoffs are just around the corner as the high school soccer season is set to enter its most exciting moment with the top teams in the Lone Star State battling for the much-coveted spots in the State Tournament. Prep…
The playoffs are just around the corner as the high school soccer season is set to enter its most exciting moment with the top teams in the Lone Star State battling for the much-coveted spots in the State Tournament.
Prep Soccer will be following the action closely, covering as many matches as possible every week and providing reports featuring the players that had remarkable performances in those encounters. Not many teams went on the field during the Spring Break week, but on Friday Division 5A side Terry Rangers hosted Division 6A Dobie Longhorns for a warmup match in Rosenberg and we were there.
Terry 1 – 4 Dobie
The Terry Rangers were the third-best team in Division 5A – Region 3, District 20, with ten wins, two ties and two losses in district play. The Dobie Longhorns just won their ninth-straight Division 6A – Region 3, District 22 title with an impeccable campaign of ten wins and two ties.
The Longhorns wasted no time to get on the scoreboard and scored the first goal of the match within the first 40 seconds of play with forward Miguel Azua getting on the of a long throw-in by defender Daniel Blanco to send the ball to the back of the net with a beautiful header. Blanco’s throw-ins came up big for Dobie again later on in the first half as after another attempt with that play, the ball found midfielder Victor Hernandez inside the penalty box and he beat Terry’s goalkeeper Adrian Coria.
Dobie’s substitute forward Jordi Garcia made a big impact on the game and scored his team’s third team after he made a good run through the middle, dribbled Coria and finished to an open net. Just a few minutes later, Terry got their goal, with Jesus Rivas finding fellow midfielder Jeffrey Hernandez free in a transition play and giving him the chance to finish it on target.
The goal made a positive impact on the Rangers, who got forward Runyambo Muco more involved in the match and saw him create some good chances with his pace. Near the end, Dobie’s midfielder Angel Limachi got on the end of a rebound inside the penalty box and send the ball to the back of the net, determining the final score.
Both teams will continue their seasons in the playoffs and will play in the bi-district round later this week.
Players of the Match
Besides scoring Dobie’s second goal in an important moment of the mach, the midfielder was important for his team during the entire 80 minutes. He probably got more touches than any other player on the field and did an excellent job in possession, connecting good passes and dictating the team’s rhythm from his midfield position. Hernandez was able to maintain his intensity level very high from start to finish and had the energy to make forward runs and attempt finishes while also working hard to win the ball back on defense.
Blanco was another very important player in Dobie’s victory as besides taking care of his defensive duties, he strongly contributed to this team’s first two goals. A lefty, he started the match on the center of the Longhorns’ defense and used his positioning and strength to win balls. He was moved to left-back at the end of the first half and maintained his high level, also displaying some quality on the ball and good pace to push forward. His long thrown-ins were really impactful as they generated two goals and a few more good chances from them.
Rodriguez was nearly unstoppable during the first half, creating all sorts of problems for Terry’s backline with his play. An attacking midfielder with a very complete skill set, he was very difficult to defend when in possession. Rodriguez made good dribbles in tight spaces and create space for his teammates and always looked to push the ball forward when got it. He displayed excellent chemistry with right-back Juan Lopez and fed his teammate with several through balls, getting him in good positions to make crosses.
Garcia came in near the end of the first half and strengthened Dobie’s offense with his incise play through the team’s left side. Very quick and technical, he consistently beat Terry’s defenders in the flank and drove the ball to the end line to make crosses. The forward also displayed other strengths of his game, making good combination plays and connecting good passes. Garcia scored a beautiful goal with a solo run through the middle and also displayed some good presence in the box, making good finishes with his feet and his head.
Arguably Terry’s most skilled player on the ball, Rivas-Guzman was one of the few outlets the Rangers had to get off the pressure sustained by Dobie on the first half. He was one of a few players who managed to maintain possession and find good passes to help his team keep the ball. In the second half, with a more open match, he found more space to create and connected really well with his teammates, feeding Muco up top and dishing a beautiful assist for Hernandez to score the Rangers’ goal.