The El Campo Ricebirds soccer team split the weekend with a home win over the Bay City Blackcats Saturday morning and a road loss to the West Columbia Roughnecks Monday night, wrapping up the first leg of district play.
Against the Blackcats, El Campo’s offense dominated possession and they reeled off a 3-0 win. Days later, missing a couple of key defensive backs, the Ricebirds had no answer for Columbia as they fell 4-1.
With the Ricebirds split they are outside district’s four playoff spots. El Campo remains in the hunt as they roll into the second-leg of district play.
“The season has gone good (so far) and we’ve been playing pretty good,” freshman forward Alexis Salazar said following their win over Bay City.
Against Bay City, the Ricebirds offense had chance after chance early on, but shots were just a little off, bouncing off the goal’s crossbars.
With 15:50 left in the first half, El Campo got on the scoreboard. Sophomore Carlos Tapia, on a far kick from 40-yards out, hit the goalkeeper dead on. He stopped the ball from going into the net, but he didn’t control it, Salazar on the rebound, kicked it in and put them ahead.
An El Campo rebound again came up big, a few minutes later. Nicholas Moreno off a Bay City turnover dribbled the ball into the box. Moreno lifted a shot that beat the goalkeeper, but it bounced off the crossbar, this time Ricebirds were able to get to the rebound and Sirapong Muanpet kicked the ball for a 2-0 score before the first half came to a close.
The Ricebirds offense strung passes together and kept the ball on the Blackcats side of the field for a majority of the game. When Bay City did get the ball into their territory, El Campo’s goalkeeper Gabriel Reyes stopped shots and the defense pitched a shutout.
Late in the game, Salazar picked up his second goal. With Bay City’s defense pulled up the field, Salazar got a nice through ball from the defense. The Ricebird freshman beat two defenders and the goalie who had come up near the 40-yard line. The goalie blocked Salazar’s first shot, but he stuck with it, got the rebound and from 30-yards away kicked it in for the final score.