GATESVILLE — At halftime, Lampasas decided losing was not an option.
After falling behind 2-0 in a match to decide sole possession of third place in the District 34-4A standings, the Badgers roared back, scoring three unanswered goals in the second half before defeating Gatesville 5-3 in overtime.
For Lampasas senior Nicholas Lawson, who produced three goals in the victory, the difference between the first and second halves was night and day.
“We just woke up and decided we needed to win this,” he said, “and we did.”
With the loss, Gatesville falls to 10-9-1 overall and 5-4 in district, setting up a first-round encounter with defending state champion Waco University.
The victory gives the Badgers a season sweep of the Hornets, allowing them to avoid opening the postseason against the Trojans, but the roles were almost reversed.
Less than three minutes into the match, Gatesville’s Ernesto Hernandez recorded the first of his three goals, increasing the Hornet’s lead to 2-0 in the 19th minute.
The advantage would not hold, though.
Lawson scored 10 minutes into the second half, and the Badgers tied the score four minutes later on Javier Torres’ shot, completely swinging momentum in Lampasas’ direction.
“In the first 20 minutes, I really felt like we had the game,” Gatesville head coach Van Collins said. “We just couldn’t keep our composure. That is what it came down to.”
The Badgers (9-9, 6-3) claimed their first lead on Lawson’s second goal with less than 10 minutes remaining, but Hernandez scored on a penalty kick with 58 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
In the extra period, Torres and Lawson continued to come up big. First, Torres scored to put the Badgers back on top, and Lawson added the final goal with less than seven minutes remaining in the match.
“I’m extremely proud of the boys,” Lampasas head coach Ryan Race said. “They put themselves in a hole and climbed out with extreme ferocity.”