Boys Soccer

Cougars-Spartans highlights intensity of 19-6A boys soccer

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 2/2/20

The quality of soccer in Katy ISD is no secret. Whether on the boys or girls side, Katy ISD is arguably the best in the city of Houston when it comes to fútbol.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Boys Soccer

Cougars-Spartans highlights intensity of 19-6A boys soccer

Posted

The quality of soccer in Katy ISD is no secret. Whether on the boys or girls side, Katy ISD is arguably the best in the city of Houston when it comes to fútbol.

An early District 19-6A boys showdown between Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch on Saturday, Feb. 1, was another example why. Just three days earlier, Seven Lakes handed Tompkins its first loss of the season in each team’s district opener. On Saturday, the Spartans were almost handed their second loss of the season by a Cougars club that had yet to lose this season.

It took a remarkable rally in the final 12 minutes for Seven Lakes to climb from a two-goal deficit before forcing a 2-2 tie at Cinco Ranch High.

“One of the things about this district is there are a lot of good teams,” Spartans coach Jimmy Krueger said. “A lot of well-coached teams. They came out with a pretty good plan and disrupted us a little bit, but it was good to see fight in our guys. We made mistakes that they capitalized on, but to have that grit and that fight to keep clawing and eventually tying it up … it’s a good moment for us, but still a lot to be proven. We have a lot of work to do.”

Between Seven Lakes, Tompkins, Cinco Ranch and Taylor, there were only four total losses through the first five weeks of the season. It will make for exciting matchups as district play heats up.

Cinco Ranch jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Seven Lakes behind goals by sophomores Khalil Khenayzir and Sebas Rodriguez. The Cougars played with intensity, eager to show what they had against a reputable Seven Lakes team.

“With us scoring early, they were pushing up more, so there was more space for the team to exploit,” Khenayzir said. “That’s what we tried to do the whole game.”

It almost worked to perfection. The Cougars, who are under a new head coach in Katy ISD coaching veteran Fredy Sanguinetti, led 2-0 with 11 minutes left.

“That’s a great team, and Jimmy does a really good job coaching them,” Sanguinetti said. “We knew they were going to come at us. We just made a couple of defensive lapses and let them cross the ball, which was something we planned not to let them do, and then we didn’t finish. We had four opportunities at top that could have put the game away, and when you don’t get those in, a great team like them will punish you.”

Indeed, the Spartans woke up. Senior striker J.P. Dominguez scored his eighth goal of the season with 10:36 left. A little more than three minutes later, senior Thomas Murry scored the equalizer with his fifth tally of the season.

“We started off bad because we weren’t ready,” Dominguez said. “We came off a big win against Tompkins and were thinking we were really good. We came out overconfident. In the second half, it kicked in, like, ‘Hey, we can’t drop points here.’ The last 12 minutes, that’s how we should’ve played from the start. That’s how we usually play. We just have to come back stronger.”

Krueger commended the Cougars’ game-plan. In the first half, Cinco Ranch sat back and attempted to attack via counters. Seven Lakes made it easy for the Cougars by playing a short game and not pushing tempo.

In the second half, after Dominguez’s goal, tempo made all the difference. Just as Cinco Ranch dominated for the first 50 minutes of the game, Seven Lakes made a rush of it by dominating possession in the final 30.

“We should’ve put them away, and a tie isn’t what we expected, but I think this lets everyone know that we’re here,” Khenayzir said. “We’re going to compete.”

Through the first week of district play, Taylor—also under a new coach in Julio Rivas—is the only team in 19-6A play without a loss or tie at 2-0-0, despite being down five starters due to injuries. Tompkins, Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch all were ranked in the preseason top 10 in Region 3-6A soccer.

“There’s a really good senior class for almost every team in the district,” Sanguinetti said. “On any given night, people can go in there and surprise somebody. That’s one of the things we tried to do (against Seven Lakes). But those seniors are really talented, and you also have some really good coaches. We’re blessed in this district that every program is known for their soccer coach.”

Added Krueger: “This district on the boys side is always competitive. There is not a free win. At any time, you can drop points. The kids just come out and play.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment