The Belton Tigers Soccer team looked for a sweep at the 2019 Governor’s Cup in Georgetown on Saturday, as they took on Leander Rouse at George Wagner Middle School’s artificial grass soccer field.
The Tigers posted two goals in each half, limited the Raiders’ offensive chances to a minimum and goalkeeper Garret Smith registered a shutout in his first start of the season as Belton blanked Rouse 4-0.
Belton (3-0) started sluggish early, as two balls rolled into Smith’s arms and a bad clear Smith had to snag when it was drilled off the crossbar in the 18th minute.
Camryn Gilmore, Edgar Soto, Alexis Ibarra, and Luis Barrios had solid scoring chances that were steered aside, two of which were set up by long throw-ins from Carlos Rios-Torres.
The Tigers hit the scoreboard on a corner kick from Simon Howe that was directed into the goal by Noe Martinez with 12:33 left in the first half.
After the Tigers cleared out two Rouse opportunities in the midfield, Rio-Torres had another long throw-in. This time, Soto converted the spot-on throw and drilled it into the net with four minutes to go in the first half to put Belton up 2-0.
After a 10-minute halftime break, Belton was on the attack again. Gilmore drilled a 25-yard shot wide left of the net and Issac Martinez drilled a 35-yard free kick into the parking lot.
Armando Dominguez, Ivan Vargas, and Cade Wenberg had excellent opportunities, Soto blasted a shot just over the crossbar and Gilmore had a speedy set up from Howe down the sideline.
Wenberg found a loose ball in the middle of goal box traffic and slid a shot into the net with 21:45 remaining in the game to put Belton up 3-0.
Wenberg had two more opportunities, Ibarra laced a shot into the box, Jesus Rojas blasted a free kick just to the left of the post and Ryder Evans’ head off of a free kick was just wide of the left post.
Gilmore converted a throw-in by Rojas with a header in the goal box with two minutes to play to put the Tigers up 4-0. The game ended moments later, as Belton completed the sweep in Georgetown. They outscored their opponents 7-1 in the three-game set.
“We played some good opponents and overcame some adversity,” Belton head coach Ben Bralley said. “We looked a little sluggish the first game, yesterday’s (Friday) game was really good for us, and in the first 15 minutes today, it looked like the third day of a tournament. The guys looked tired.”
With the team having injured players (Gilmore, who missed first two games with an injured back, and Alvin Packard, who missed Saturday with an ankle injury) and the team needing to increase their stamina overall, the Tigers will be working hard to get ready for the Dallas Jesuit Tournament. That three-day tournament in the Metroplex starts this Thursday.
“What we are doing right now is trying to find those 11 guys to be able to compete for a district championship,” Bralley said.