St. Joseph keeps playoff run going with OT win

Thanks to some standout plays at the very end of the match, the St. Joseph Academy Bloodhounds remain alive in the TAPPS Division II soccer playoffs.

SJA goalkeeper Carlos Porras blocked a penalty kick with a little more than two minutes to play and teammate David Rodriguez scored a golden goal with 36 seconds showing in overtime to give the Bloodhounds to a 3-2 victory Tuesday afternoon.

The area-round win against the Houston Emory Weiner Jaguars at Canales Field advances the Bloodhounds (13-8-1) to the third round of the TAPPS Division II playoffs. They’ll play their next game Saturday at a site to be announced. SJA’s opponent is expected to be San Antonio Christian or Katy British International Houston.

On Tuesday, the Bloodhounds went ahead 2-0 with goals by Kevin Moran and Marcelo Masso during the ninth and 11th minutes, respectively. Emory rallied and scored back-to-back goals during the 68th and 69th minutes to eventually send the match to overtime tied at 2 after 80 minutes of regulation.

Based on the TAPPS golden goal format, the Jaguars could have won on a PK with just less than three minutes left in the first 10-minute OT period. But Porras kept the Bloodhounds’ chances alive by stopping the penalty try.

Rodriguez then put in a golden goal from 10 yards away on the right side, ending the game with 36 seconds showing in the first OT. On the play, the ball was crossed over to Rodriguez off a corner kick taken from the left side.

“It was all a team effort,” said Rodriguez, a senior forward. “It all started with the penalty kick the opposition had against us (a couple minutes earlier). If our goalkeeper didn’t stop that penalty, it would have been game over (with Emory winning), and I wouldn’t have ever had a shot (at the winning goal). I was lucky to have that shot.

“It made me feel a little relief (that I helped us win),” Rodriguez added. “I wanted to give back to my team because I had missed probably four previous shots that could have put the game out of reach, so that (winning) goal brought me comfort.”

Porras said he was happy to give his team a boost.

“The first thing I thought instantly in that penalty situation was about the team,” the senior goalkeeper said. “I wanted to put the team above everything else, even myself. The team just came to mind when the whistle blew for the penalty (to be taken).

“It means the world to me (to stop that PK),” Porras added. “It was unbelievable.”

SJA coach Edgar Tovar was pretty amazed as well.

“Carlos saved the game,” Tovar said. “We played longer (than we expected in OT after giving up our 2-0 early lead), but the most important thing is we won. Now we will continue forward (in the playoffs).”