Waco High soccer coach Kris Kahler looked out over the field at Waco ISD Stadium late Friday night and had to admit, even though it wasn’t exactly the result he wanted, it was a stellar evening for his sport.
Waco High and University drew 2-2 in a tenacious battle in District 18-5A.
The Lions constantly attacked for the final 20 minutes of action, but they couldn’t get a shot past University goalkeeper Daniel Rangel to break the tie.
“I think it was a really good showcase for soccer in the city of Waco,” Kahler said. “It was a beautiful night, awesome environment in the bleachers. Can’t win ‘em all, but I thought our guys played really well.”
Kahler was aiming for his 200th coaching win, but will have to wait at least one more game as the Lions record moved to 11-1-2, 2-0-2 in 18-5A. University is now 6-3-2, 1-1-2.
Rangel jumped to swat away a shot over his head with eight minutes remaining, then he scrambled to deny a rebounding shot, stopping Waco’s last best chance to score.
Waco High’s Adolfo Rodriguez took a free kick from about 25 yards with 10 seconds left on the clock, but Rangel scooped up the rolling attempt and quickly booted the ball away to run out the clock.
Because 18-5A voted not to have overtime in soccer, the two teams shook hands and accepted the tie.
“Whenever we settled in the last 20, 30 minutes and finally played soccer the way we did, I think we looked really, really sharp,” Kahler said. “We connected the passes, had several opportunities to score and tonight just wasn’t our night. Hats off to their goalie. He made an incredible save with eight minutes left. He came out of nowhere.”
Waco High forward Raul Toribio punched in a go-ahead goal for the Lions, making it 2-1 in the 47th minute.
But University posted the equalizer on a penalty kick 10 minutes later.
Albert Campbell dribbled the ball into the penalty area for the Trojans before he was fouled. Rolando Galvan took the penalty kick and sent a shot into the right side of the goal as Waco High goalkeeper Jose Vallejo dived to the left side of the goal.
“With the ones we had on offense, we felt pretty confident,” University coach Mike Chapman said. “One thing about our kids is they give a lot of effort. We’ve been down a couple of goals in games and came back and tied ‘em and won ‘em. I think if we ever can get that out of us to get behind, I think we really will be all right. But our kids got a lot of heart and they give a lot of effort.”
Waco High took the initial lead in the first half on the strength of adept passing on the right side of the field. Nate Lopez found Raymundo Reyes with a well-placed entry pass in the University penalty area. Reyes responded by sending a shot from about eight yards out on the right side into the top left corner of the goal.
Reyes’ boot gave the Lions a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of play.
But University responded less than 10 minutes later when it was given a free kick from 30 yards out. Antonio Ledesma sent a laser kick into the top right corner of the goal to tie it at 1 in the 19th minute.
Waco High had the wind at its back for the first 40 minutes and used the advantage to slightly out-attack an aggressive University side. But the Trojans equaled the Lions with four shots on goal before the teams broke for halftime.