SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE

For a limited time enter code Save4Life during checkout to save $25 off of the Lifetime Membership.

Subscribe Now

MARBLE FALLS — Statistically, the Marble Falls High School boys soccer team had Lake Travis beat Tuesday.

But that’s not what the scoreboard said.

The Mustangs (17-7-1, 8-5 in District 49-4A) had more shots on goal, 5-1, than the Cavaliers, who are ranked in the top 10 in Central Texas.

Senior goalie Robertlee Vidal had several key saves to give his team a chance.

But what the Mustangs couldn’t defend was a ball being scored off one of their own, even with Vidal in position to make the play.

Once the Cavaliers took the 1-0 lead, they decided to protect their score and escaped Mustang Stadium with the single goal win.

“That’s the most heart I’ve seen the team play with in a long time,” head coach MIchael Nave said. “They fought till the end of the game.”

In the first half, Vidal had a sliding save, jumping up to get the ball after it ricocheted off of him. On a second attempt, he caught the ball and made the Cavaliers pay for getting too close to him.

Both saves brought the Mustang faithful to their feet.

“He’s gutsy and he has been for three years,” Nave said. “I’m sorry this is his last game in Mustang Stadium.”

When the game went to a 0-0 halftime, Marble Falls was in position to pull the upset.

On two different occasions in the second half, the Mustangs had a chance to score.

Their best was when a ballhandler split the defense and passed to a teammate on a 3-2 opportunity with 25:30 remaining.

But the teammate did not open his foot enough, which sent the ball flying to the right of the goal.

The Cavaliers knew they had dodged a bullet and scored six minutes later.

Marble Falls’ final chance came when they had three players in the box. One of the Mustangs passed the ball to the right, but his teammates stopped, allowing the defense to regroup and clear the area.

Nave called those misses frustrating.

“We had a lot of opportunities,” he said. “But that’s the game of soccer.”

But despite the result, the coach said he could not fault his players’ efforts.

“It hurts to lose when you’re that close,” he said. “Right now I admire the heart we played with, how relentless we played. The guys didn’t stop until the final whistle.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com