JASPER — For the first time in school history, the Hamilton County soccer team will play for a district championship.
The Trojans defeated Saint Francis Catholic 4-2 on Tuesday to clinch a spot in Friday’s district title game against Lafayette.
“To be in the district final is amazing,” said 10th year HCHS coach Horacio Perez. “The guys are excited. They’ve been working hard. It’s paid off.”
After struggling a little in the first half, Hamilton County scored a goal in the 46th minute that changed the complexion of the game. The Trojans went quickly on a corner kick to surprise the defense as Malakai Perez tapped the ball to Julio Celiz. Celiz did the rest as he took a few steps toward the goal and lofted a shot into the net. That goal gave HCHS a 3-1 edge.
Five minutes later, Omar Lopez scored the Trojans’ final goal of the night on a header inside the box.
Jeremiah Gibson and Jesus Castro notched goals for Hamilton County in the first half.
“We started a little slow. We were down. But we’ve been there before and we fought back,” said Horacio Perez.
Hornets advance to district title game
Lafayette got out to an early lead, controlled the action the entire way and put in a few late goals against Oak Hall on Tuesday.
The Hornets’ 5-0 win earned them a spot in the district title game on Friday against Hamilton County.
“A couple little mistakes, but we got it done,” said LHS coach Pedro Resendiz. “We’ve worked for it (district title game). I’m excited. We sacrificed time this season away from friends and family. But I tell these guys now this is a new season.”
LHS didn’t waste any time, scoring in the third minute. An accurate pass down the sideline from Dakota Hilton connected with Emmanuel Tovar, and Tovar beat his defender and the goalie to earn the first goal.
Carter Higginbotham followed with a goal in the 21st minute to put LHS ahead 2-0.
After halftime, Omar Carreon scored twice — once in the 57th minute and again at the 80-minute mark. Between those two scores was a goal by Waylon Richard in the 76th minute.
LHS goalie Jose Resendiz wasn’t challenged often as Lafayette had possession for most of the match. But he was perfect with five saves.