By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Belton Tigers boy’s soccer team got three of first-half goals in their matchup last Friday at Wilson-Kerzee Field in their 3-0 win over the Killeen Ellison Eagles in preparation for their rematch with Waco Midway on the road in Hewitt.
The Tigers and Panthers played to a 1-1 draw, with the teams deadlocking the series at two draws for the series.
In the Ellison game, Varney Carter corralled a high-bouncing ball in front of Ellison goalkeeper Michael Charlton and deposited the ball into the net in the 11th minute to give Belton a 1-0 lead.
Belton went up two goals in the 24th minute, as Lorenzo Gherardi deftly headed a corner kick past Charlton.
Roberto Barrios closed out the scoring, tallying on an indirect free kick in the 35th minute to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers’ defense clamped down on the powerful Ellison offense and held on for the much-needed win.
“I think that they were very intense,” Belton head coach Ciso Mosnia said. “They were much more aggressive than they have been in the past. We were very timid before, but we really went after Ellison.
Tuesday’s game with Midway had playoff seeding implications at Midway ISD Stadium.
Belton had their chances early, as Barrios took a pass from Tyler Fischer and let loose a blast from 30 yards out. A diving save by the Panthers’ goalkeeper kept the Tigers off of the board in the first half.
Chris Noble came up big at the start of the second half with three key saves in the first 10 minutes.
The Tigers got their goal on a setup from Austin Hagen and Dawson White, who fed Ethan Trevino up high for a header 17 minutes into the second half.
But once again, as seems to be the case this season on both the boy’s and girl’s sides, a penalty call against the Tigers resulted in a Midway penalty kick. It is fourth time in four Belton-Midway soccer games this season. This time, with six minutes to go, gave Midway a chance to tie the game. Ben Matthews popped home the penalty kick for the equalizer on the scoreboard.
“We played hard and we had a lot of chances,” Mosnia said. “We didn’t execute on all of them.”
The Tigers are 6-2-3 in District 12-6A play and are sitting in third place. They will host Harker Heights on Friday night at Wilson-Kerzee Field, who shut out Killeen 2-0 to move into a first-place tie with Midway. That makes Friday night’s game with the Knights another must-win for the Tigers.