Lions dispose of China Spring, 4-1, in bi-district round

Austin Snyder (7) scored a pair of goals for the Lions in Brownwood’s 4-1 bi-district victory over China Spring Monday night.

CHINA SPRING — After suffering a first-round upset in the playoffs last season, the Brownwood Lions were determined not to experience the same fate Monday night.

Two goals in the first 12 minutes of action proved to be all the Lions would need en route to a 4-1 Region III-4A bi-district soccer victory over China Spring.

Austin Snyder scored twice for the Lions, while Hugo Yebra and Dylan Person also contributed goals.

“Last year we came out super cocky and lost in the first round and we were expected to go really far,” Snyder said. “But right from warm ups tonight we got that straightened out. The first few minutes we seemed a little nervous, but after that we got it worked out and played our game.”

With the win, the Lions (13-6-2) advance to the area round of the playoffs where they will meet the winner of the bi-district contest between District 35-4A champion Nacogdoches and District 36-4A fourth seed Sealy, who square off at 6 p.m. today at New Caney Porter High School. No plans have been set for either opponent.

“The guys played tremendously,” said Lions first-year head coach Blake Danaher. “Coming off not winning a district title I was curious to see how they would step up and answer they call. I’m proud of these guys.”

Yebra scored the first goal for the Lions just 10:28 into the contest. A mere 68 seconds later, following a foul in the box, Snyder converted a penalty kick to stake Brownwood to a 2-0 advantage.

“It’s always good to have that cushion,” Snyder said. “We’re able to play more comfortable.”

Added Danaher, “We’ve struggled getting goals at the beginning of games, but to capitalize put us in a comfort zone.”

Snyder found the net again with 3:57 left in the first half as Brownwood owned a 3-0 advantage at the break.

China Spring recorded its only goal with 33:57 remaining in the contest, but Person responded with 13:53 to go, reestablishing the three-goal advantage for the Lions.

“Defensively we played very well,” Danaher said. “We were very organized, there was a lot of good communication and the guys stepped up big time.”