The goal coming into the season for Victoria East was to win district.
The Titans had come close last season but finished in second. This year they are back in the title race.
After a 4-2 road win at Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial on Friday, the Titans returned to Memorial Stadium and defeated Gregory-Portland 4-0 to stay in first place in District 29-5A.
“This team is resilient,” said East head coach Josh Chaput. “They’re going to keep grinding. Things aren’t going to go our way at times but they’re not going to stop doing what they’re doing. They’re going to keep pushing and keep playing a complete game. So I’m very proud of them.”
After both teams tested each other in the opening minutes, senior forward Joe Aguirre opened the scoring with a goal in the 16th minute of the first half.
He would add a second off a cross in the 36th minute and along with a goal from sophomore midfielder Mario Valle helped East lead 3-0 at halftime.
“Our efforts there every time we step on this pitch,” Aguirre said. “We give it all for each other, brotherhood, we’re a family. If one of us falls down then another’s gonna pick them up.”
Senior forward Lucas Chavez scored in the 45th minute to open the second half to put East 4-0.
But while the offense remained productive, the defense never let up.
Even as the Wildcats began to push forward in the final 20 minutes, the Titans defenders found spaces to get the ball back and allow the offense to press up the field.
Tuesday’s game marked the second shutout in three district games for East senior goalkeeper Xavier Moore and the Titans defense.
“We were feeling confident,” Moore said. “Only two goals in district so far and we wanted to keep it at two. We came out strong and we didn’t give them a chance.”
In the final seconds of the game Aguirre was on the receiving end of a hard foul from the Gregory-Portland defense, something that became more frequent as the game progressed.
He was subbed off the field but did walk off unassisted.
“We’re feeling great, we’re in a positive mood,” Aguirre said. “We’re just looking forward to the next game. Win the next game and keep moving forward.”
For now, the focus shifts to Friday’s crosstown rivalry game against Victoria West at Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.
“Hopefully we keep our emotions in control and don’t let it get the better of us and that way we can continue to move the ball and continue to play good soccer,” Chaput said. “That’s going to be our key. Keep playing our game. Let’s not let our emotions get the best of us and change what we do.”