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MARBLE FALLS — The scoreboard couldn’t reveal the heartbreak the Marble Falls High School boys soccer team felt after a 4-2 loss to Austin Lanier in the bi-district championship March 24.
U.S. Olympian Leonel Manzano, a 2004 graduate of Marble Falls High, addressed the team (17-3-1) after the loss — but even he couldn’t offer much comfort. Head coach Michael Nave said Manzano came to practice the day before and told the players he would attend the bi-district contest.
Nave wasn’t surprised it took his players longer to leave the field at Mustang Stadium.
Most stayed in small huddles and only left after being prompted by fans, who wanted to greet them and congratulate their effort.
“You can see what kind of heart they had,” Nave said.
The Vikings took command of the game in the first half. They scored a goal at the   mark and at the 17:43 mark for a 2-0 lead. The second goal was especially heart wrenching as it went through the hands of the goalkeeper.
The Mustangs had their chances. They were penalized for two offsides and had two free kicks near the penalty box but couldn’t convert.
In addition, they took two shots on goal from the left side, but the ball was kicked just high enough over the right post to go out of bounds.
The Vikings goalkeeper made several stops. One was a ball that split the defense in two, forcing the goalie to dive to his right to get it.
It looked as if Marble Falls’ fortune was turning in the second half. Senior forward Ruben Contreras tapped the ball into the net when the goalie couldn’t scoop it up at the 23.:59 mark.
But Lanier got the ball goal 3:30 later. The ball was kicked from the left side, and though the goalie stretched to touch it, he couldn’t bring it in, allowing a Viking to kick it into the goal.
Lanier added another goal with 12:02 remaining in the contest. The ball was kicked from the right side into the left corner.
Marble Falls scored the final goal 90 seconds later when junior midfielder Carter Robertson put a header into the net thanks to an assist from senior midfielder Jamie Hernandez.
The Mustangs end their season as the runners-up in District 51-4A with a division record of 7-2-1.

jfierro@thepicayune.com