Lady Lions, Lions sweep Salado in home soccer finales

DERRICK STUCKLY BROWNWOOD BULLETIN derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com

The Brownwood Lions notched another 34-4A soccer victory, but a district championship still may elude them.

Needing to record a win in either regulation or overtime to amass the required points in the district format to be in the driver’s seat for the 34-4A crown with one game left, the Lions were unable to light up the scoreboard until the shootout in their 4-2 victory over Salado Tuesday night.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Lions first-year head coach Blake Danaher following the game. “Our destiny was in our hands and we let it slip between our fingers. But in the end we got a result, and I’m proud of my boys for playing hard.”

Neither team found the net during the 80 minutes of regulation nor the 20 minutes of overtime. But in the shootout, the first four Lions to attempt the 12-yard penalty kick — Austin Snyder, Dylan Person, Christian Lenz and Abe Oviedo — provided more than enough ammunition.

Defensively in the shootout, Lion keeper Brandon Diaz yielded only two goals in four Salado attempts.

“Diaz stepped up big time,” Danaher said. “This game was based on keeper play and he did a good job during the game and then got the upper hand in the PKs.”

The playoff-bound Lions (11-6-2, 7-2) are slated to close the regular season at Lorena on March 18.

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Lady Lions 1, Salado 0

The Brownwood Lady Lions inched closer to locking up the second playoff seed from District 34-4A with a 1-0 victory over Salado in Tuesday’s home finale at Gordon Wood Stadium.

The Lady Lions (12-5-2, 7-2) notched their second consecutive shutout, having avenged an earlier district loss to Robinson by the same 1-0 count on Friday at Howard Payne University’s Citizens National Bank Field.

“The back line played pretty well and didn’t give up many chances, if any at all,” said Lady Lions first-year head coach Keith Robinson. “I felt like we controlled the tempo of the game pretty well, but offensively we had a hard time getting going and just couldn’t get that final touch inside the box.”

Brownwood tallied the goal with 16 minutes remaining as Tristan Escamilla finally found the back of the net.

“The second half we played more physical, stepped to them a little more and finally got a couple of breaks,” Robinson said. “It was very good finish and I’m happy for Tristan. She’s struggled the last few games not finding the net after a little tweak to her Achilles tendon.”

The playoff-bound Lady Lions (12-5-2, 7-2) are also scheduled to wrap up their regular season at Lorena on March 18.