Uni Texas A&M ra2

Jose Cervantes (22) battles Felix Avvenlaneda during A&M Consolidated’s 1-0 victory on Thursday night at Waco ISD Stadium. A&M’s Carolos Espina scored the game’s only goal with 28:03 remaining.

Staff photo— Rod Aydelotte

The A&M Consolidated Tigers surpassed the University Trojans, 1-0, in the Class 5A bi-district soccer playoffs Thursday night at Waco ISD Stadium.

With 28:03 remaining. A&M’s Carolos Espina intercepted a bouncing ball near the University goal. Espina connected with the ball mid air and volleyed it over University goalie, Nery Zuniga, for the game’s only score.

University head coach Mike Chapman said he is proud of the effort his team displayed tonight.

“I thought we played well,” he said. “A&M Consolidated is a good team. They were more talented than us and our guys played their butts off tonight. Hats off to A&M Consolidated, they’re a good bunch. But we really, really played well.”

The first half ended scoreless but both teams moved the ball well. The game seemed evenly matched, but something changed in the second half. The Tigers (18-3) started to look like the better team and mostly kept the ball on the Trojans’ side of the field.

The game ended with Zuniga making multiple acrobatic saves as A&M Consolidated became more and more dominate.

University didn’t lose their aggression in the second half, but it seemed like nothing went their way. Chapman said the Tiger’s experience level was hard for his players to overcome late in the game.

“In the second half we came out and tried to push it up a little more,” he said. “After that first half we thought we had a shot, and we did. But they’re talented. So I think the skill level took over late in the second half for them here tonight.”

The Trojans’ last game of the season didn’t go as they hoped, but Chapman said he is optimistic about the future of his program.

“It’s very promising,” he said. ”We started four or five freshmen, two sophomores and only two seniors tonight. So we’ll have everybody back and we have a really good freshmen group to come with them.

“This was basically our rebuilding year and we had a lot of growing pains, but we’ll get there. They look very, very promising after what we saw tonight.”