Winning senior night for Tigers
Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Thanks to a nifty goal by Oscar Lopez-Garcia, and some outstanding work by goal keeper Jaquez Williams, it was a winning senior night for the Troup Tigers.
Lopez-Garcia scored on a header early in the second half, and Williams and the Troup defense did the rest in a 1-0 victory over Spencer at Callaway Stadium.
In the girls’ game, Alyssa Barton scored in the first half for Troup, but it was Spencer capturing the 2-1 victory.
In between games, the seniors on the girls’ and boys’ teams were both recognized.
The seniors on the girls’ team are Adreanna Creed and Roxy Villar, and the seniors’ on the boys’ squad are Tionne Battle, Domingo Martinez, Hunter Morgan, Myles Sargent, Parker Stover, William Vazquez and Williams.
While Williams has played soccer in previous years, he’d never been a goal keeper before, and he put everything he’s learned to the test against Spencer.
After Lopez-Garcia scored to give Troup the lead, SpencerWilliams had some big-time saves to make sure his team prevailed.
“Being a keeper is a skill, and it’s also a mental position,” Troup coach Andrew Valbuena said. “The first half, he didn’t have that many shots. He stayed turned on in the second half, and when something happened, he was there. It was great keeping. It’s a really hard mental position. You make a mistake, and it’s a goal”
Spencer peppered the goal in the second half, but Williams was up to the challenge.
Having already made a handful of saves, he made a diving stop with 19:09 remaining on a ball that appeared headed for the net.
“They were six yards away taking shots at me,” Williams said. “It was really fun. It tested everything I’ve learned this year.”
The Tigers did just enough offensively.
With a little more than 34 minutes remaining, Helsyn Martinez launched a free kick toward the goal, and Lopez-Garcia went up and headed the ball into the net.
“I told Helsyn right there, aim for Oscar’s face, and he’ll put it in,” Valbuena said.
The Tigers have lost some close ones this season, and Valbuena was pleased to see the team stay sharp for a whole game.
“They played a whole game,” Valbuena said. “They played a full 80 minutes.”
In the girls’ game, Spencer scored with 27:33 left in the first half to take the lead, and Troup answered 11 minutes later.
After a Spencer player was called for a handball, Troup was awarded a free kick.
Barton took the free kick, and she got the ball past the keeper for the tying goal.
It remained tied until Spencer scored the winning goal with 17:50 to play. The Lady Tigers had their chances to pull even, but they were unable to notch the tying goal.
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