Win leaves Warriors tied for first (w/gallery, video)
March 4, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.
The goal made at the 21:25 mark for Victoria West was a big one for senior Juan Gonzalez.
Though he's played most of the season as a midfielder, Gonzalez was goalkeeper for the Warriors (14-2, 6-1-2) on Tuesday night against Corpus Christi Miller.
He scored the third goal in West's 4-0 victory over the Buccaneers on a penalty kick. He said it was the first time he has capitalized on a scoring opportunity so far this season.
"Last year, I took a lot of (penalty kicks), so doing it this year was big," the senior said.
Gonzalez has played soccer since he was 9 years old and was a part of West's inaugural varsity team in 2010 as a freshman.
Gonzalez recorded his first shutout in goal of the season against the Buccaneers (1-10-3, 0-8-1), as junior Hunter Elder has held the main goalkeeper position for the season.
Elder, who has recorded 10 shutouts in goal in his junior season, played a fielding position and scored West's final goal with less than five minutes left in the game.
West coach Bill Tally said he has noticed Elder's fielding abilities in practice but has kept him as main goalkeeper because of his dependability in the net.
"I wish I could have gotten him more minutes, but we have a lot of guys," Tally said. "He could easily be a field player - I've seen him at practice."
Diego Perez scored the first goal of the game early in the first half, followed by Jorge Mazuca's goal about 10 minutes later.
Tuesday's victory has kept the Warriors in a tie for first in District 59-4A with Gregory-Portland (11-3-4, 6-1-2). Both teams have won 14 total games this season.
Gonzalez said that Gregory-Portland has been the team's biggest challenge this season.
"We focus on them," he said about the Wildcats. "We're taking it a game at a time."
With three more games left in the season, Tally said the last two could change up the teams going into playoffs.
"Our last games, East and G-P, can be really big games for us," Tally said.
The Warriors' key to success has been defense and possession of the ball. Keeping hold of the ball has enabled them to score early and often in many of their games.
"It's really started with our seniors - Rudy Rocha, Ernesto and Diego Perez, Edward Rodriguez, Roberto Torres and Jorge Mazuca - they have set the tone, they always fight for the ball and really drive the ship," Tally said. "They have the most logged minutes and experience."
West will travel to Corpus Christi Friday to take on C.C. Moody at 6 p.m.
Victoria West 5, C.C. Miller 0
After a series of disappointing performances, the Warriors brought the heat Tuesday night with a strong victory over Corpus Christi Miller.
The Warriors (4-2-3) won 5-0 with all of the goals scored in the first half.
Senior Anhila Rocha scored the first two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game with two quick headers into the net.
Junior midfielder Londyn Bellard scored the third goal with 11 minutes left in the first half.
Larissa Haney scored the fourth goal, not too soon before Sarah Warner kicked in the final goal about two seconds before halftime.
West coach James McCarter said that while the girls did focus on ball possession in practice, that he had told them to relax and have fun the night before the game.
"We've had some really physical, really close and stressful games lately," McCarter said. "Tonight, it wasn't so much about relaxing, but focusing on having fun and making it a high school game again."
It's an uphill battle from here on out, McCarter said, with Moody on Friday, East on Monday and undefeated Gregory-Portland on March 14.
"This win definitely puts us in the right mind frame and direction," he said.
Rockport-Fulton 1, Victoria East 0
The Titans lost by one goal Tuesday night against Rockport-Fulton (4-5 district).
East (4-4-1 district) faces CC Ray on Friday before taking on crosstown rival Victoria West on Monday.
Victoria East 4, Rockport 0
After suffering their second loss in district to Gregory-Portland on Friday, Victoria East defeated Rockport-Fulton Tuesday 4-0.
Olivia Salas scored twice for East, first assisted by Madison Hawkins first and then Kayla Hohlt.
Hawkins and Rachel Mansker scored a goal a piece for East. Mansker also contributed an assist.
East improves to 12-4 overall on the season with a 7-2 district record.