Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 19, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Looking for answers

AHS drops to 0-2 in district play with loss to Lindale Friday night

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — Coach Jonathan Ryal’s Athens Hornets continues to look for answer’s following a 3-0 loss to the Lindale Eagles Friday night at Bruce Field.

With the loss, the Hornets (4-7-5) have been outscored 7-2 in District 31-4A play this season.

“We are young and we are learning right now,” Coach Jonathan Ryal said. “We have got to figure out a combination for the back and we give up silly goals. We will be okay, and I really feel like we will be okay.”

Lindale scored their first two goals of the game in the first half as senior goalkeeper Johnny Gonzalez was out of position early in the game.

“Sometimes we try to play too pretty and with not enough urgency,” Ryal said. “I preach to my guys all the time that a 2-0 score is the most dangerous score in soccer. If you are up 2-0 you can't quit because if they get a goal in you have to get revved up and I don't think we ever played with our heads down,”

Ryal said another tough situation for the Hornets right now is dealing with injuries and trying to get the younger kids matured quickly for the varsity level.

“I had two freshman and a sophomore playing against Lindale,” Ryal said. “I really only have four seniors on the field right now. We have got to mature quickly.”

Athens’ junior forward Enrique Rodriguez had a chance to cut the Lindale lead to, 3-1, with 2:35 remaining but missed a point blank shot at the Lindale goalie.

Athens returns to the soccer pitch tonight against rival Whitehouse.

The junior varsity will begin at 5:30 with the varsity to follow at 7 p.m.

“Whitehouse is a rival and they are good,” Ryal said. “It is going to be an up hill climb because we are at their place and you have to deal with that stuff. We have to keep playing and sometimes life is hard and I know the guys understand this.”

Ryal remains confident in his team’s chances for a postseason berth with eight games remaining in the regular season.

We still control our own destiny even if we go 0-3 in district. I think we need 12-to-15 points in district to get in the playoffs. That is our goal and I think that will put us in the playoffs.

John Tyler 4, Athens 2

The Hornets lost their opener last Tuesday as Efrain Hernandez and Alfredo Vasquez scored the goals.

Enrique Rodriguez was given credit for both of the assists in the loss.