For the Shoemaker Grey Wolves soccer team, the most important aspects aren’t on the scoreboard, but rather what it can learn by playing different competition.
Despite second half goals from James Ford and Raul Sandoval, the Shoemaker Grey Wolves couldn’t track down their first win of the season and fell to Leander Rouse 8-2 during the opening day of the Harker Heights Soccer Tournament at Leo Buckley Stadium on Thursday.
Shoemaker (0-6) head girls coach Central Hicks was serving as Shoemaker’s coach because boys head coach Greg Jordan was unable to attend the contest.
Hicks said that despite the loss the team can build on the fight they showed. Both goals came in the final 17 minutes of the match with Shoemaker facing a 6-0 deficit.
“I think it gave them a spark just to be able to go out and compete,” Hicks said. “Just to be able to get out and compete more than anything else. I think that will help us going forward, going into district and going forward.”
The Grey Wolves take on Gatesville in the tournament’s semifinals round at 2 p.m. today while Rouse plays Heights at 6 p.m. tonight.
Shoemaker’s offense nearly missed taking an early lead in the first two minutes of the match.
Ford launched a kick that went under Rouse goalkeeper Juan Bracho and was headed for the inside of the net before being cleared away by the Rouse defense.
“I thought we had scored for a second,” Ford said. “It showed that we could play at their level. It showed that we had a winning chance.”
Despite the close call, Hicks said that sequence showed the team they were capable of moving the ball into the Rouse zone and attack.
From there Rouse took control as Alex Pena got the Raiders on the board with 33:22 left in the first half and Louis Jovel doubled the lead 51 seconds later.
Zack Ramirez and Pena added goals later in the opening half to help the Raiders take a 4-0 lead into halftime.
“In the first half, we didn’t do so well, but in the second half we fought,” Sandoval said. “It’s our game, we needed to play and have fun.”
The game was mostly played in Shoemaker’s end of the field as the Grey Wolves offense struggled to get only six shots on goal and only two in the opening half.
Sandoval finally helped Shoemaker break through when he came up with a loose ball inside the Rouse penalty box that he kicked in while Ford headed in a goal on a long-ball pass that came in from 40 yards away.
“My guys are fighting hard,” Ford said. “This is what we needed to do. We came out a lot harder in the second half.
“We’re showing improvements, we’re here to fight. We didn’t punk out.”
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com