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Titans' Torres lends helping hand to team's scorers

By jhornberg
March 30, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 29, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.

Mauricio Torres (15) of the Victoria East Titans heads the ball during the game against San Antonio Southside Cardinals Tuesday evening at Memorial Stadium.KATHLEEN DUNCAN / KDUNCAN@VICAD.COM

SECTIONAL ROUND PLAYOFF GAMES

Victoria West girls vs. Corpus Christi Flour Bluff, 6 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium

Victoria East boys vs. Corpus Christi Flour Bluff, 8 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium

Mauricio Torres doesn't have to score to be a force on the soccer field.

The senior for Victoria East does it just by handling the ball.

On Tuesday night against San Antonio Southside, the senior's ability to handle the ball drew the defense to him, helping to open up the field for Colton Siler and Cole Fimble.

"They really click together, they're pretty hard to defend," said Titans soccer coach Tim Eaton.

"(Mauricio) doesn't have a lot of goals and assists this season," Eaton added. "But it's the creativity in what he does, and in the strikes he does get on the ball. It's the quality, not the quantity."

And that skill has led to a lot of productivity for his teammates up front.

"He's probably set up most of the goals that Colton and Cole have this season," Eaton said.

Torres is part of a front line of experienced players for the Titans. He doesn't have the most goals for the team - that stat belongs to Siler - but he is able to set up players and helps to draw defenders to him to open up the field.

He's been playing for more than a decade, since elementary school. He's worked to hone his game.

"I have a little bit of experience," he said. "I'm happy to be working with these guys; in practice, we're working to get better every day."

Torres' role this season is considerably different from last season at Memorial. The senior was one of the Vipers leading scorers last season, along with Mark Rojas, helping to pilot the team to its 10th playoff berth in 10 seasons.

Eaton said Torres lets his skill shine through even when he's not the one going for the goal.

"He has good anticipation and vision of what's going on around him," Eaton said. "He has such a good touch, he can deliver any type of pass that is needed."

Torres goals entering the season were simple ones.

"I wanted to get better and to practice hard," he said. "I feel really confident in the team. I can trust them and they can trust me, and that's really important.

"We want to make it to the state final. That's our goal, and I'll be real happy if we can get there."

This season required him to take on a different role, one as captain and one as more of a passer.

"It was hard at the beginning," Torres said of the transition from one team at Memorial to two teams and two schools. "We lost a lot of great players, and we got the most seniors, but it was hard at the beginning."

The Titans will need every bit of help they can get with Flour Bluff up next. The Hornets won District 60-4A going away, finishing undefeated in district play.

And Torres said he and his teammates are taking nothing for granted. They weren't with Southside, and certainly not with Flour Bluff.

"We don't underestimate any team, every team made it to the playoffs for a reason," he said before Tuesday's game against Southside.

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