TEMPLE — Temple coach Matt Corley is keen on telling his team it doesn’t matter how the goals go in. It matters that they go in.

The Wildcats’ two goals Tuesday night came off a free kick and a penalty kick and were enough to get Temple past the Belton Tigers 2-1 at Woodson Field.

“We talk all the time, a lot of the goals in high school soccer are scored off free kicks in the first 10 (minutes) or last 10 of each half,” Corley said. “I think we were about 10 seconds out of the first 10 when we scored.”

Temple’s initial goal came 10:04 into the match by Alejandro Gonzalez, whose high free kick from about 30 yards out went just above Belton goalkeeper Andres Martinez’s head. Martinez was able to get his hands on it and slow it slightly but could only watch as it went past him and slowly into the net to give the Wildcats (5-3-2, 2-1 District 12-6A) a 1-0 lead, which they maintained the entire first half.

“We always talk about striking first,” Corley said. “I don’t care how it goes in. It counts and that’s all that matters to us.

“I told them at halftime I didn’t think the scoring was over for either team. Belton has too much pedigree and is too good to just give up.”

Belton (5-1-3, 2-1) tied it less than 5 minutes into the second half on a shot from Isaiah Lopez that cut perfectly through an opening of players from about 20 yards out.

The Wildcats got the lead back 5 minutes later when Jose Medrano was fouled as the Wildcats had a two-on-one advantage inside the penalty box, setting up a penalty kick.

Medrano’s kick went low and left, just under Martinez’s dive for Temple’s 2-1 advantage.

The Wildcats defense did the rest, fending off 14 shots by the Tigers.

While it was just one win, it could be pivotal. According to Corley, the district’s coronavirus rules state that if a team has to cancel a match in the second half of the district schedule, the standings would revert back to how they stood after the first half of district play, meaning early wins would be more pivotal.

“This is big,” Corley said of the win. “Belton is a great team and has had some great pedigree the last 10-15 years, so our guys did a good job coming back after they scored. But in the scheme of things, it’s just three points in the district standings and we have to keep level-headed. Enjoy this one today and get ready for the next one.”

12-6A BOYS SOCCER

Bryan 3-0

Belton 2-1

Copperas Cove 2-1

Ellison 2-1

Temple 2-1

Harker Heights 1-2

Killeen 0-3

Shoemaker 0-3

TUESDAY'S SCORES

  • Bryan 5, Killeen 1
  • Copperas Cove 4, Ellison 1
  • Harker Heights 5, Shoemaker 0
  • Temple 2, Belton 1

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