By Tony Altobelli
Killeen Daily Herald
It wasn't the most dominating effort against a winless district foe, but the Killeen boys soccer team will take it.
Two first-half goals were enough for the Roos to slip past the Waco La Vega Pirates 2-1 on Tuesday night at Leo Buckley Stadium, keeping the inside track on the Ellison Eagles for third place in District 17-4A.
"I wasn't happy with the way we finished this game, that's for sure," KHS coach James Gay said. "They got frustrated and it showed in their effort down the stretch."
It was a spirited effort from the Pirates (0-14 in district), especially from goalkeeper Eric Hyde, who made several point-blank stops on would-be Killeen goals.
"It was nice to see them (La Vega) really come after us," Gay said. "The keeper did a great job on us and it was nice to see that spirit out of them."
Junior forward J.T. Jones got Killeen on the scoreboard first when he took an excellent cross pass from Michael McConville and headed the ball past Hyde in the 22nd minute.
Twenty minutes later, off a corner kick by Brian Wood, Marvin Bautista used his cranium effectively, heading the ball into the net for a 2-0 Roo lead.
From there, the Pirates used some strong netminding and a favorable wind to push the momentum in their favor.
With four minutes left in the first half, David Beruman sent in a free kick from 30 yards out. The ball deflected off a Roo defender, goalie Robert Mueller and into the net to cut the deficit in half.
In the second half, Wood was a great save and some bad luck away from a hat trick, but Hyde and two shots off the goalposts kept the Roos from widening the gap.
But the lead was never in serious danger as the strong wind went against the Pirates in the final 40 minutes, leaving a 20-yard shot by Manuel Uribe the best opportunity to even the score. Uribe's attempt sailed way over the goal midway through the second half.
The Roos will 'travel' to Leo Buckley Stadium to play Ellison on Friday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. A win will clinch a playoff spot for the Roos.
n Hewitt Midway girls 5, Killeen 0 The Pantherettes (17-4-1, 11-0 in district) showed firsthand why they are sitting on top of 17-4A with a convincing win over the host Lady Roos in Killeen's final game of the season.
First-half goals by Lauren Moore, Jessica Ponce, Erika Salinas and Brandi Neilson, followed by a late second-half tally by Jennifer Jones, rounded out the scoring for Midway, while the Pantherettes' defense kept Killeen away from any scoring opportunities.
Strong play by Killeen sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Marbury kept away any further scoring opportunities.
Other solid play was turned in by defenders Emily Richardson, Takeshia Freeman and Brittney Carter, among others.
With the loss, the Lady Roos finished the season 3-9 in district play.
Contact Tony Altobelli at firstname.lastname@example.org