LAMPASAS — Dylan Kannan scored the goal, but he did not change the momentum.
For 30 minutes, Lampasas and Jarrell went back and forth, exchanging unsuccessful shots as the Badgers attempted to guarantee themselves no worse than third place in the District 27-4A standings with a victory.
Then, Kannan recorded a breakaway goal to give his team the match’s opening score.
Lampasas, however, already had control.
Less than two minutes earlier, Badgers goalkeeper Matt Cisneroz successfully thwarted a Cougars’ penalty kick, and it altered the complexion of the contest, according to Kannan, who recorded both of Lampasas’ goals in the 2-0 victory.
“That definitely lit a fire underneath all the guys,” Kannan said. “We all had faith in Matt, and there was no doubt about it, because he is a great goalie.
“We never doubted him, but that definitely sparked us.”
The Cougars had multiple opportunities to rally from the score over the duration of the game, finishing with 11 shots on goal, including seven in the second half, but they were unable to convert.
Despite allowing Jarrell chances to close the gap, Lampasas head coach Ryan Race felt the match was his team’s to lose following the sequence sparked by Cisneroz’s save.
“He came up with a huge save,” Race said, “and that really changed the energy of the game. Plus, it’s really nice to have a good finisher like Dylan.
“Our defense is doing a great job, and I really wasn’t even that nervous going through the game, because I’m so confident in them.”
Lampasas (8-2 27-4A) saw a pair of shots sail high in the game’s opening minutes, and then, the Badgers’ next two attempts were blocked.
But with 12 minutes remaining in the half, Cisneroz, who finished with seven saves, made a diving block, immediately triggering the offense, and the score held for the duration of the half.
The Badgers posted five shots in the second half before Kannan earned a penalty kick in the 75th minute, and he easily converted for his second goal.
The Cougars produced three consecutive unsuccessful corner kicks in ensuing moments and had a shot fly over the goal as Lampasas preserved the shutout.
“I thought Josh Woods played a fabulous game,” Race said. “He’s been our rock defensively at the center-mid role.
“He just sits at the top and eats balls up.”
Now, with three matches remaining, including Friday’s contest at Burnet, the Badgers will look to potentially move up to the second seed in the district standings.
For now, Kannan is simply focusing on improving.
“We’re not going to slow down just because we are already in the playoffs,” he said. “We’re still going to go strong and finish. We want to go out and beat Liberty Hill and Salado.
“Playoffs are not for another several weeks. We’re not even worried about that right now.”