With the number one seed in the district up for grabs this past Friday night, the El Campo Ricebirds fell to the Calhoun Sandcrabs 4-1.
Despite the loss, the Ricebirds remain two points behind Calhoun for the district lead. All three of the top seeds in district are separated by three points with two games left in the regular season.
“We’re doing a lot better than last year,” El Campo senior Joel Garcia said. “We’re basically the same team from last year, we just lost one senior. We have a new formation and everyone has more experience.”
El Campo fell behind against Calhoun early in the first half. Eleven minutes into the game, the Sandcrabs scored on a penalty kick. The Sandcrabs got the free shot, after an accidental tripping in the goal box.
The Ricebirds tied the game 1-1 with 17 minutes left in the first half. El Campo junior Raymond Moreno launched ball deep across the goal on a corner kick. The ball connected with junior Diego Gutierrez’ and into the goal.
El Campo had a couple more good looks as the first half closed, but they couldn’t crack the Sandcrab keeper.
Deadlocked 1-1 midway through the second half, the Ricebirds got the chance to take the lead with a free kick near the goal, but the ball missed. El Campo tried another header off a corner kick, but again the shot missed its target.
Calhoun with 16 minutes left in the game, took the lead again with the shot coming off a penalty kick. El Campo senior goalkeeper Rhenner Spenrath went out to make a sliding tackle on a Calhoun player, but it was inside the goalie’s box, giving them the free shot. Calhoun added two more scores to close out the game.
El Campo on the season has three goal scorers with at least 10. Ricebird junior Nick Montes and senior Alexis Salazar have 11 goals and Moreno has 10. Moreno leads the team with 11 assists.
“We feel confident, obviously after the Calhoun game we were feeling down, but we feel good about where we are at,” Garcia said. “We haven’t given up many goals on defense.”
El Campo boys and girls teams will finish the regular season with Rice Consolidated on Friday night at home.
The El Campo Ladybirds beat the Calhoun Sandies 3-1 at home, keeping them in third place in district.
The Ladybirds have 24 points, one point behind Columbus who is in second place.
Ladybird senior Meanie Nunez has been a welcomed addition to the team, coming over from basketball, she has three goals, tying her for the second most on the team.
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