Victories over city rivals are always nice, and the Porter Cowboys picked up one Friday night.
The Cowboys broke out of a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 District 32-5A triumph at home over the Pace Vikings.
Porter built a 3-0 first-half lead en route to the win.
“I think the ball bounced our way tonight,” Porter coach Jose Espitia said. “We knew it was a crucial game, and our boys stepped up to the plate.
“I’m proud of my boys on a great showing,” Espitia added. “My hat is off to Pace because they kept fighting all game long.”
Porter improved to 4-3 with 13 points to stay close to the top of the district standings as the first round of district came to a close. Pace slipped to 4-3 with 12 points.
The Cowboys went up 1-0 during the 13th minute when Rodolfo Armendariz blasted in a kick from 50-plus yards away on the left side of the field. The Pace goalkeeper came out to get it, but he misjudged things as the ball took a high bounce over him and went into the goal.
It became 2-0 during the 22nd minute after the Vikings were called for a pushdown foul in the penalty area on a corner-kick play from the right side. Oscar Garcia converted the ensuing PK for the Cowboys.
Porter took a 3-0 advantage into intermission thanks to a goal during the 31st minute. A long free kick from the right side was headed in by Xavier Mateos after he let the ball bounce first before putting it into the net.
The goal to seal the victory was made by Garcia during the 54th minute. Garcia attacked with the ball down the left sideline, beat a defender and then dribbled in close before sending the ball into the goal past the goalkeeper to make it 4-0.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Cowboys were coming off losses to Valley View (6-2), Lopez (3-2 in PKs) and Brownsville Veterans Memorial (2-1).
“I think it was a good experience to play those top-caliber teams (even though we lost),” Espitia said. “I’m proud of my boys because they kept fighting regardless of those three losses in a row.”
The evening ended with a Pace victory as the Lady Vikings captured the nightcap of the 32-5A doubleheader 2-1 over the Cowgirls.
Paloma Zamora scored just 49 seconds into the match for Pace before Porter tied the score at 1 before halftime.
A goal by Arianna Garcia with an assist by Alexis Guajardo with 31 minutes left lifted the Lady Vikings to the win.
Coupled with Brownsville Veterans’ 2-0 win against Edcouch-Elsa, Friday’s victory gave the Lady Vikings sole possession of the 32-5A lead with a 6-1 record and 18 points. Porter, last week’s district leader, is 5-2 with 13 points. E-E is in second place at 5-2 with 15 points.
“I believe my team is peaking,” said Lady Vikings coach Jesus O. Villarreal, whose girls have now won five straight matches. “The district has been really close, and we’ve been getting points here and there. All the district games have been very close and intense.
“Right now, we’re peaking,” he added. “Our girls have the idea of the intensity it takes (to win in 32-5A). The players know (now) what they need to do. We’ve fixed mistakes, and the last few games, particularly tonight, they showed how smooth they can play. I didn’t see any signs tonight of my players getting overly excited, so that was good.
“I’m not saying it was an easy game tonight by any means. Porter is a completely intense team to play against, and those girls are well-coached.”