Leander Declared Victors of Darby Match

By Ben Fischer

As the beginning of the district nears Leander boys varsity soccer team is finally starting to come together, making all of the full 24 player team feel comfortable. They have high hopes of going to playoffs this season, a feat that has yet to be accomplished since Coach Timo Sheard’s departure in 2001.

Plagued with injuries and illness, the boys team started off slow, losing Dani Alvarado to a concussion. The team was unable to place in the Hays Rebel Cup Tournament, but did seem to come together and make it work with a tie and a 4-0 victory the last two games.

Tuesday night the boys played away at Rouse Raiders. With a lack of focus to start the game, it took a near goal in the first minute for the boys to regain focus and get the ball rollin’. In response the boys traveled up field where “Blackie” (Timothy Black) senior, got the first goal of the night, a heel to the upper ninety in the second minute. It did not stop there.

Again, in the eighth minute, Alex Cortes, junior, headed the ball in off of a cross from Daimon Gonzales, senior. Once again a header by “Cheeky” (Eric Bello) senior, in the 15th minute, added another goal.

As the Raider defense started to fall, the boys kept it respectful and continued to play their game, even after many Raiders began to foul.

A substitution in the 17th minute resulted in yet another goal in the 23rd minute by Julian Moniot, senior, giving the Leander boys three assurance goals to end the first half.

The second half started off slow for Leander, resulting in an excellent placed goal by Rouse during the 54th minute.

Once again, to get the ball rollin’, Benjamin Plett, senior, scored a shot from out of the 18 yard box in the 68th minute.

With for sure victory, the Lions continued to play their game to the very last second, where Louis Martinez, freshman, scored his first goal of the season with three seconds to spare, making for a promising future for the future.

For years the boys have claimed to be the change for Leander; “We have been saying we would be a playoff team our senior year, since our freshman year, and this is a promising start to that journey,” Vincent Fussell, senior, said.

Thursday night, the boys started the Vista Ridge Showcase with a great game, tying Vista Ridge Rangers 0-0.

Russ Girard, coach, and the boys would like to thank the fans for coming out and showing their support for the team as well as invite them to keep coming out. You can cheer the Lions soccer team on Friday Jan. 21 at 6:00p.m. At Gupton Stadium, when they take on McCallum High and again on Saturday Jan. 22 at 1:00p.m. against Liberty High, at Vista Ridge High School.