By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Belton Tigers looked to improve upon their 1-2 season record last weekend at the Governor’s Cup Tournament. Facing stiff competition during the tournament, the Tigers emerged from the tournament with a first-day draw, a second-day win and a third day loss. Belton is now 2-3-1 on the young season.
Thursday’s fixture matched the Tigers against Deer Park. Blake Odell’s converted penalty kick in the 15th minute gave the Tigers a 1-0 advantage. A second haltally by the Deer forced the Tigers to settle for a 1-1 draw.
“It could have been better,” Belton head coach Tarcisio Mosnia. “We looked good in the first half, but in the second half we let up a little. It may have been fatigue.”
The Tigers looked fresh on Friday as they took on San Antonio Jefferson. From the moment Belton hit the pitch, the Mustangs had no answer for neither the Tigers’ offense nor defense.
Solid defense by Chris Noble in net and Thomas Shelburne, Paxton Smith and Jacob Bell, among others, stymied the Mustangs at every turn and on every scoring attempt. Odell’s second goal of the tournament came in the fourth minute on a breakaway and blast from 25 yards away to make the score 1-0. Tyler McLean put his name on the Belton side of the scoresheet eight minutes later, as he tallied from 25 yards away dead in the center of the net to make the score 2-0.
Belton applied scoring chances on multiple occasions over the next 15 minutes before Ethan Trevino fed Brandan Coulter with a centering pass that he promptly deposited in the net for a 3-0 lead. The Tigers had two more prime opportunities in the first half, but Odell missed the goal a foot to the right and Coulter hit the crossbar. In the second half, Belton continued to put pressure on the Mustangs.
Odell, Coulter, Macgregor Wooten, Jacob Bell, Roberto Barrios, Kade LeBlanc and Austin Hagen had good opportunities, which Jefferson steered away. Belton’s defense held the Mustangs off the board, giving Noble a clean sheet for the match and Tigers a 3-0 win. “We were able to control the plays with our midfielders and backs,” Mosnia said. “We controlled the ball well with our passing.”
The Tigers concluded their stay in Georgetown with a game against East View on Saturday. Belton was down 1-0 to the Patriots when Smith fed Odell for a sharp-angle, left-side shot that tucked inside the post and off the Patriot goalkeeper. His third goal of the tournament tied the game 1-1 all in the 23rd minute. East View scored the winning goal in the 36th minute to win the match 2-1.
“We had a couple of defensive breakdowns,” Mosnia said. “That cost us the game. We had opportunities in the second half when we had control of the ball. I like how we played in the second half.”
The Tigers return to action Friday night in Belton against Keller.