DEER PARK — Coming off a 1-3 weekend at the Dripping Springs Soccer Tournament, and then losing their head coach Wednesday after his resignation, the Brazoswood Buccaneers fought like they never had against a pretty stout Fort Bend Kempner Cougar squad at the Battleground Invitational on Thursday.
Brazoswood scored back-to-back goals within 26 seconds of each one in the final 10 minutes of play to pull off an exciting 2-1 victory at Abshire Stadium at Deer Park High School.
“It is just who they are because they are working together and just getting better,” Brazoswood Buc interim head coach Luis Gomez said after the match. “Good thing about all of this is they are really trusting each other.”
It was a match full of action from start to finish as the Bucs improved to 2-3 on the season and will head back to Abshire Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff against Clear Falls.
“I liked their focus today, it really showed. Normally it’s taken us a bit to get going but I thought today they came ready,” Gomez said.
Down a goal after 40 minutes of play, the Bucs hit the field running, putting pressure on the Cougar defense in the first 10 to 15 minutes of play in the second half. Jose Angel Martinez got it started in the opening minute with a right-side attack in the box but his shot rolled straight to the Cougar goalkeeper.
Martinez was back at it two minutes later when he took a pass down the sideline and headed into the end zone. Right before dribbling out of bounds, Martinez smacked the ball back to the middle where Jesus Guel was prepared to head the ball into the net, but the Cougar goalkeeper stuck his paw out and reached the ball before Guel.
Kempner eventually got going and started putting pressure on Russell Summa in the net for the Bucs. But Summa played a phenomenal matchmaking six out of nine attempts by the Cougars in the second half. Four of those saves by Summa came in the box.
Into the 70th minute of play, junior Stefano Angheben finally got the Bucs on the board. It was a wild attack by the Bucs as several of them were in the box and a shot flew toward the net, putting the goalkeeper out of position. Angheben made contact with the ball just to the right of the net and quickly turned, hooking a left-footer into the net at the 70:20 mark.
But the Bucs were not done as just 26 seconds later they found themselves in the box again, this time Guel making it count from the right side of the net, 2-1.
“I really do think I’d like to see more quality shots. I liked what our offense did today,” Gomez said. “But in some ways, we are putting too much pressure on our keeper. If we can just find that extra pass or maybe shoot a bit faster we will be able to get back and protect our keeper.”
Summa was quite busy in the first half, making five saves out eight attempts by the Cougars. Some of those were at close range, but the Cougars had the upper hand on attacks in the first half coming at the Bucs from all angles. Another thing that helped the Coogs were the 10 free kicks to four for the Bucs that at times stewed some of the Buccaneers.
“I thought that they needed to keep calm in the game and had to play through that,” Gomez said. “We had our own misses before where we had opportunities, but I was proud of them for keeping it together through some tough calls.”
Team captain Austin Alexander echoed Gomez’s thoughts on trying to keep their mind on the match.
“We just have to focus on soccer, we cannot worry about what the referees are doing,” Alexander said.