The Sealy boys’ soccer team came into senior night riding a three-match winning streak including a win in penalty kicks against Stafford in late February. The Tigers’ last loss was on Feb. 16 against Royal on the road.
The team was looking to even up the season record against the Falcons with both sides playing aggressively throughout the first half. The Tigers limited Royal’s ability to create good shots but couldn’t capitalize on their own opportunities with several near misses either missing wide or bouncing off the crossbar.
A scary moment for Royal came midway through the first two half when two of their players collided heads with each other mid-air after pursuing the ball. Both were able to walk off the field under their own power but neither would return for the rest of the match.
“I told my guys before the match, both teams always lose players when we play each other either from injury or red card because we play each other so aggressively so I told them to be smart about the way we play,” Head Coach Juan Perez said.
The score remained nil-nil at half and remained so throughout the second half with Sealy continuing to barely miss good shots on goal.
“Sometimes you just have bad luck because we were getting some really good shots that any other night probably would’ve been scores but some nights, things just don’t go your way,” Perez said.
The frustration clearly reached a head for the Tigers when a scuffle broke out that resulted in one player for the Tigers being ejected and Royal’s keeper being given a yellow card.
After the coaches had talked with the referees and it seemed as if everyone had cleared the pitch, senior Jesus Sanchez was given a free kick and after the whistle blew that the play was live, he scored.
The referees quickly waved it off, however, because the Royal coach had not yet left the field. They said despite blowing the whistle, signaling the play was good to resume, they said the goal would not count.
“I wasn’t so sure about that but we can’t use excuses, we had other opportunities to score and just didn’t take advantage of it,” Perez said.
The match would end regular time without a goal by either team and forced penalty kicks. Sealy had multiple opportunities to pull out the win but couldn’t stop Royal.
The Falcons would eventually go on to win PKs 6-5. While the loss was an emotional one for the team, they still have secured a playoff spot with two games left to go in their season.
“We played incredibly well, we had the possession and we had the shots and the defense, we just couldn’t get the goal and we missed it too much,” Perez said. “We had everything to win this game so we are ready to do good things, we just have to put it all together.”
The team’s next game will be on Friday against Bellville on the road.