By Edward Isaacs | FME News Service
BELTON — The Belton boys soccer team had opportunity after opportunity to score Tuesday night against district foe Killeen at Wilson-Kerzee Field. All but two of those chances went for naught, but it was still enough to get past the Kangaroos, 2-1.
With the win, Belton improves to 3-0 in District 12-6A.
“It wasn’t pretty at all, but we got the win,” Belton coach Tarcisio Mosnia said. “We had a lot of opportunities to score and didn’t finish. We have to do a better job off those scoring chances.”
The Tigers and Kangaroos went into the second half tied 1-1. Senior midfielder Roberto Barrios gave Belton the edge off a corner kick in the 64th minute when he was able to get his foot on the ball while standing in the penalty box. He smashed a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
“First off, we didn’t play as well as we should’ve,” Barrios said. “We had a lot of shots on goal and none of them were going in. Thank goodness that last one went in. When we don’t play as good as we should, it just means we need to prepare more during practice and work harder. If we don’t take care of things during practice, things won’t take care of themselves during games.”
Kade LeBlanc gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead late in the first half after his foot found a ball that was bouncing around in the penalty box.
Marquel Eiland tallied the equalizer four minutes later when he reversed field and fired a bender from 25 yards out which sailed into the upper corner of the net.
Belton’s scoring chances began to pile on during the first half and continued into the second. Dawson White nearly headed in a ball three minutes into the match, but goalie Anthony Albino corralled the ball after bobbling it once. Tiger Roberto Jaimes Diaz hit a header in the first that rolled inches outside of the left post.
Albino had his fair share of saves throughout the night, as he correctly read most of the Tigers’ shots.
Killeen (1-1-1 district) didn’t have as many shots on goal, but Belton goal keeper Chris Noble also recorded several saves en route to a shut out in the second half.
Noble kept the Kangaroos from going up 2-1 just before the half when he caught a line drive from Eiland. He snagged another shot from Rogelio Carrizales with 30 seconds remaining in the match.
“Chris has gotten a lot better,” Barrios said. “He’s doing great this year.
“(Killeen) wanted it. Defensively what we’ve tried to do this season is not give the fast players much space. If they get a good touch they’re going to get around us. During halftime coach told us to not give them any space and get on them as fast as we could.”
The Belton backfield of Austin Hagen, Ethan Trevino and White held Eiland in check in the second half. He didn’t record a shot on goal.
The Tigers (6-3-1) are off Friday. They play at Ellison on Tuesday at 7 p.m.