Categorized | Soccer, Sports

Marble Falls soccer team gets program’s first playoff win

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

Marble Falls High School junior defender Ali Salinas (center) leaps to hit a ball with his head during the Mustangs' 1-0 playoff win against Austin McCallum on March 24. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Marble Falls High School junior defender Ali Salinas (right) leaps to hit a ball with his head during the Mustangs’ 1-0 playoff win against Austin McCallum on March 24. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

AUSTIN — As the ball rolled into the right corner, Marble Falls High School soccer players, coaches and fans leapt for joy.

The only goal of the 1-0 win against Austin McCallum ensured the Mustangs (13-8-3) made history March 24. After four trips to the playoffs, the Marble Falls boys soccer team finally got a postseason win.

“This is a big win for my boys, a big win for the school and a big win for the community,” first-year Marble Falls head coach Rick Hoover said. “I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

The game had its share of anxious moments. The Mustangs had several shots on goal but couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.

That changed eight minutes into the second half.

The ball bounced toward Mustang Eric Salgado, who pushed it from left to right and watched the ball fall softly into the right corner.

“I felt like the two prior to that were going to go in,” Hoover said. “Nerves got us in the first half. For every one of them, it’s the first time for them to play in a playoff game. For most of them, it’s the first time to see a playoff game.”

Both teams applied pressure at every point of the field with neither willing to concede passing or running lanes.

Still, the Mustangs kept working. Meanwhile, Hoover and his assistants continued walking up and down the bench, telling the reserves to stay focused and be ready to enter the game at a moment’s notice.

“We had three or four really nice built-up plays where we almost scored,” Hoover said. “I’ve been through this a lot. The hardest one to win is the first one. Obviously, I’m honored, very honored and proud. This is a good team. We have to show up and play.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

ON OFFENSE: goal – Eric Salgado; assist – Marky Marichilar

RECORDS: Marble Falls is 13-8-3 overall and 4-4-2 in District 51-4A.

UP NEXT: March 27 or 28; Marble Falls faces the winner of Elgin-Hays Consolidated with site and time still to be determined.

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