Dawg Soccer falls in shootout to Knights 4-3
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove boys’ soccer team had an opportunity to narrow the gap with fourth-place Temple as they took a 3-1 lead in the first half of their home match against Harker Heights Tuesday night at Bulldawg Stadium.
However, two unanswered goals by the Knights sent the match to a shootout where the Knights were able to net four of their six attempts while the Bulldawgs made just three of their six attempts.
The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the shootout when Thomas missed high for Cove and Garrett Greer connected. A goal by Cove’s Sargent tied the match at 1-1 before a goal by Monjaras gave the lead back to Heights 2-1. Goals by Crook for Cove and Alex Quiroz by Heights made it a 3-2 shootout before a goal by Cove’s Ryan Hicks and a miss by the Knights’ Diego Fierro knotted the match at 3-all. Saves by both goalies concluded the first five attempts by both teams in a 3-3 tie. The Knights won the shootout after Cove’s shot by Caal was saved by Howley and the Knight’s Sam Kim squeezed it past the Cove keeper for the win.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldawgs to take control of the match as Justin Crook found the back of the net after connecting on a ricochet in the first minute of the match on an assist by Brandon Sargent.
After some back and forth action over the next ten minutes, the Knights found some daylight and Julian Mojaras took advantage for the tying goal with 29:03 left on the clock.
The Bulldawgs again had an opportunity in the 15th minute when a header by Thomas sailed just high of the goal post after a header by Crook set up the shot.
One of several saves by Cove goalkeeper Ayden Seymour maintained the tie until Thomas was able to find the back of the net after a corner kick by Joshua Caal for a 2-1 lead with 19:06 left in the first half.
The Dawgs added to that lead in the 27th minute when a pass by Saymon Taylor to Kendric Steward was kicked off the hands of the Knights goalkeeper before Steward connected on his second try for a 3-1 Cove lead with 12:37 left in the half.
A goal by the Knights’ Abel De La Rocha scored a goal in traffic to cut the Cove lead to just one, 3-2, with 11:13 left in the first half.
A Cove free kick from 22 yards out missed just high to open the second half.
The Dawgs missed another close shot when a cross by Steward was kicked just over the crossbar by Crook in the 59th minute.
The Knights got more aggressive and were able to take several shots on goal on corner kicks, but a pair of wide shots and a save by Cove’s Seymour kept Cove out front until another goal by De La Rocha knotted the match at 3-3 in the 69th minute.
Another attempt by Steward was saved by Harker Heights’ Howley before an errant corker kick by the Knights and another save by Seymour closed out regulation with a 3-3 tie.
The Bulldawgs (3-2-2, 11 pts) return to action to start the second half of district play on Feb. 19 at home against Ellison (4-2-1, 14 pts).