Mustangs march to Regional Quarterfinals after PK win

Nathan Hendrix/The Highlander
Mustangs senior goalkeeper Michael Vazquez made several key saves in the Mustangs' penalty kick victory over Caney Creek on Tuesday.




By Nathan Hendrix

Sports Editor

The Marble Falls Mustangs soccer team advanced to the Regional Quarterfinals following a 6-4 win over District 20-5A winner Caney Creek on Tuesday in Bastrop.

The game was tied at two at the end of regulation, and two 10-minute overtime periods failed to find a winner. Both teams prepped their goalkeepers and five shooters for penalty kicks to determine who would advance.

Mustangs senior goalkeeper Michael Vazquez stopped half of the Panthers' PK tries, and his teammates hit four-of-four to propel the Mustangs to the next round.

Penalty kick saves weren't the only saves Vazquez made. In just the seventh minute of the game, a Mustangs defender misplayed a ball, and one of the Caney Creek forwards found himself alone with Vazquez. Vazquez calmly rotated to the ball and stopped the shot.

The Panthers scored the opening goal of the game with 1:10 left in the first half on a penalty kick after a foul inside the Mustangs' defensive box, but the halftime deficit motivated the Mustangs in the second half.

Senior forward Bernabe Torres scored the equalizer in the first 10 minutes of the second half on a pass from junior midfielder Josiah Rojas, but the tie score didn't last long.

The Panthers went up 2-1 after a shot bounced off Vazquez's hands and the Panthers netted the rebound.

For the rest of the second half, the Mustangs dominated possession and put several shots on goal, but they were running out of time.

With less than eight minutes left, Vazquez made yet another save, and delivered a quick outlet pass to Torres, who dribbled the entire length of the field and scored the tying goal. Vazquez said it was his first assist in four years playing for MFHS.

Both teams had opportunities to score in overtime, but it took penalty kicks to decide a winner. Sophomore midfielder Andrew Rodriguez, Rojas, Torres and senior defender Crosby Wiswell scored on their penalty kicks, and Marble Falls advanced.

See the full story in Friday's print edition.

The Mustangs will play Cedar Park on Friday in Liberty Hill; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The teams traded wins in the regular season; the Timberwolves won on Feb. 15 by a score of 3-1 with three second-half goals; the Mustangs answered on March 12 with a 5-0 shutout victory on Senior Night.

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