After losing four straight matches in the district leading up to senior night, the Sealy Lady Tigers’ soccer team were hoping they could right the ship against Royal. It was the second meeting between the two schools of the season with Sealy winning that match 3-0.
Sealy’s offense looked as if they were going to repeat that offensive performance early on as they constantly had possession on Royal’s side of the pitch. The Lady Tigers had several good-look shots but all were either blocked or missed wide of the net.
Royal took advantage of Sealy’s missed opportunities close to the halfway mark of the first half. As the Lady Tigers tried to push the ball up-field for another shot, a Royal midfielder intercepted the ball and passed it to one of their forwards who went on a fast break.
Sealy’s defense couldn’t recover in time and the Falcons went up 1-0 with 20 minutes left in the half. Sealy couldn’t answer back with their own score before halftime.
“The first half they were dozing off and so at halftime we focused on making sure we were going to pass better and communicate more,” Head Coach Adrian Rocha said. “We also changed our formation to better facilitate our offense and that was probably the biggest thing we did all night.”
At almost exactly the same time the Falcons scored in the first half, the Lady Tigers responded with their own goal in the second. Natalie Vital came downfield to pursue the ball and scored on a kick that was about 15 yards out from the goal to tie the game with 21 minutes left.
“All they needed was one goal to kind of get the energy back in the team and that’s what happened and we started rolling from there,” Rocha said.
Royal’s keeper continued to struggle to send any goal kicks in the air allowing Sealy to keep possession for most of the time remaining. The Lady Tigers scored the go-ahead goal with 15 minutes left to go off Vanessa Villagomez.
Sealy would add one more goal to the scoreboard before time was up to make the final score 3-1. The win capped off the home career for the seniors and also brought them closer to securing a playoff spot for the team later this month.
“As a coach, it made me very proud and seeing them grow since being freshmen to now winning their last home game, it’s sad but also very rewarding,” Rocha said. “I think we’re going to be really reenergized by this win and some of the changes we’re doing that were validated tonight.”
The team’s last game of the regular season will be on the road against rival Bellville this Friday. The Lady Brahmas sit atop the district with a perfection 3-0 record in district play.