In seven years as Round Rock Stony Point’s soccer coach, Jason Rich has never seen his team play a true home game.
Instead, the Tigers had to play at other Round Rock venues and made themselves at home during the Harker Heights Invitational Tournament, defeating the Killeen Roos 4-0 in the championship game Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
It was the fourth straight Heights tournament championship for the Tigers and the game was all but over 20 minutes into the first half.
“We’re young and we’re still progressing — these games are for us to mature,” Killeen coach Sylvester Jallah said. “Hopefully by district time we’ll know what’s going on and how we are supposed to run our (offense and defense).”
The Roos (4-4-2) had several opportunities to score but came up short each time — or better yet, long.
Jallah isn’t overly concerned with his team’s pre-district record.
“We are in the developmental stage right now,” Jallah said. “Killeen isn’t known for its soccer program but we are starting to change that.”
Selvin Delcid and Iijo Lee each had open lanes in the first half, but both Killeen players kicked the ball over the top of the goals. The missed shots proved costly as Stony Point managed to keep the ball in Killeen’s zone for the majority of the half.
“Winning this is huge for us because we are kind of young this year — we had four freshmen on the field during the game,” Rich said. “We have no returning starters from last year’s team so this allows us to play together more.”
The Tigers played five games in three days — winning all five on their way to the tournament title.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming in because we had played a little flat the last two games,” Rich said. “They were beat — we took some injuries.”
Most notable of the injuries was to junior captain Marcel Donosso who broke his ankle in an earlier game against Lake View.
Freshman Justin Martin scored seven minutes into the half with the second score coming 12 minutes this time score went to senior Alejandro Martinez.
Martinez toed the line on the right side of the goal’s touchline. The Stony Point captain then faked a pass before slipping it into the goal for the 2-0 lead. Senior Daniel Montalvo scored the third and final goal of the half in the 28th minute — giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The fourth and final goal came with 13 minutes left.
Jose Morriloo-Garcia received the ball at midfield and dribbled it straight down the center. He took the shot from 35-yards out and zipped it over the right shoulder of Roos’ goalkeeper Bernardo Maero.
“Killeen has a really good team and they were able to keep up with us in the second half,” Rich said. “We also were practicing some of our new strategies during the second half and, again, that’s more of a testament to our overall youth.”
Delcid and Dominic Duncga each scored goals in a shootout win over the Knights in the semifinals of the tournament. Austin Roden scored the lone goal for Harker Heights (6-1-2). In other action, Copperas Cove defeated Gatesville 5-1 and Stony Point defeated Shoemaker in a shootout after tying 1-1 in regulation. Ray Alvarado scored the lone goal for the Grey Wolves.