Warriors' advance to area round of playoffs
March 25, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2013 at 10:25 p.m.
CORPUS CHRISTI - There is no proof Rudy Rocha told his younger sister "anything you can do I can do better."
What is certifiable was the junior defender's game-winning goal in the 33rd minute of Monday's Class 4A bi-district playoff game between Victoria West and Flour Bluff.
West went on to win 3-1 and advance to the Class 4A area playoffs for the second straight season.
"Jose (Olalde) crossed it from the corner," Rocha said. "I just saw it coming, so I just hit it. It was my first playoff game for West, and I got to score a goal. I'm speechless."
The Warriors (19-3-2) will play Floresville, the team that eliminated them in the same round in 2012. Time and location have not been determined.
Meanwhile, Flour Bluff (13-12-1) ends another season with a 3-1 loss to Victoria West in the bi-district playoffs. Marcos Narvaez took advantage of a Warriors miscommunication in the 38th minute to shave the deficit to 2-1 at halftime.
"It was a great game," said Flour Bluff head coach Bob Chapman. "We were trying to compete with the district champions up there. They beat us last year 3-1; we tried to get a couple more, but I don't know."
The Warriors were able to survive and advance, despite missing a midfielder. Nathan Hermes started the game as a defensive midfielder, which meant seniors Eric Robinson and Danny Valadez had different responsibilities than usual.
The change didn't matter. Despite only having a one-goal lead for more than 20 minutes in the second half, Rocha was confident his team would be able to close out the contest after halftime.
"Nathan did really well," Rocha said. "He would get every header, every ball, and he wouldn't let anyone past him."
Flour Bluff took nine shots, but just three were on target. For long stretches their best chances came from long throws from Kevin Reid and set pieces.
One of the Hornets' shots on goal was a simple save for West goalie Juanito Gonzalez. The other was Narvaez's goal, and the third was a stop of a 30-yard missile from Reid with less than three minutes remaining. Gonzalez initially fumbled the shot but dove on the ball before the swarming Hornets to stab it home.
Edward Rodriguez scored the first goal in the 14th minute. Ernesto Perez assisted Rodriguez's goal and added a goal of his own in the 61st minute to complete the scoring. West is a perfect 17-0-0 when Ernesto, or his twin Diego, provide a goal or an assist.
"I tell them to try to get their head up and look for space," said West coach Bill Tally about the twins and Rodriguez at the top of the Warriors 4-3-3 system. "Your center forward may make a run wide, if (someone) is taking away the line he can cut in and look to shoot."
At the beginning of the season, West set a goal to win a district championship and advance at least beyond the area playoffs. The first job is done. The second is all in front of them.