COPPELL COWBOYS BOYS SOCCER 2020
FEBRUARY 23, 2020
This was not where the Cowboys had expected to find themselves halfway through the District 6-6A season.
Stepping into the season with high aspirations, the team stood 1-4-2 and second to last in the district standings before the match. Set to play the only team below it, Irving MacArthur, they were itching for a win. This was not just a normal district match, this was the match the Cowboys’ were hoping to start turning their season around.
Though Coppell had a shaky start, it ultimately came out on top with a 2-1 win, pushing it closer to the top four playoffs spots.
For the most of the first half, MacArthur dominated the field, landing several shots on goal. The problem with the Cowboys was more so in the formation than in individual performances.
The Cowboys walked onto the field with a 3-5-2 formation, which turned into a 5-3-2 when playing defense. The team had trouble working with the relatively new formation which led to defensive slip ups. The formations also gave Coppell troubles when it came to sending balls forward as midfielders tended to stay back, leaving a gaping hole between them and the offense.
However, the team changed to its classic 4-3-3 formation in the second formation which gave it the results it needed.
“We dropped to four in the back and put two center backs,” Coppell senior center back Nathan Hernandez said. “Before, we were playing three in the back and we wouldn’t be able to commit out wide to the ball… Because of having several center backs, we didn’t know when to commit to the ball or when to draw and that killed us because we were getting destroyed by three guys on each of the sides just passing up one by one.”
hings began to look up when Coppell senior midfielder Sebastian Blaas scored a penalty kick with 30 minutes remaining in the match. The scoreboard was changed once more to 2-0 with 16 minutes left when Coppell senior midfielder Caleb Razo scored with a well placed shot.
“Working collectively as a team in the second half really gave us the boost we needed,” Razo said. “Most of our slip ups were because of the lack of communication. Once everyone started talking in the midfield and having like our defense starting to communicate with their middle. We actually started to get back on track.”
MacArthur took an offensive stance in the final minutes, but only scored its first goal with only 30 seconds left in the match, leaving the score 2-1 at the final whistle.
Coppell was in a similar situation last year, where it stood at sixth place with a 2-3-0 record around half way through the district season. But in just a span of six matches, of which it won five, it shot up to the very top of the district. With last night’s win being its first win in the past six matches, Coppell hopes to once again bounce back the second half of the season.
“A lot of this year’s had a lot of the same feel, the Nimitz loss earlier this week hurt.” Coppell coach James Balcom said. “But we know this district is incredibly tough. And we’re seeing everybody’s beating up on everybody, outside of Marcus. We have played everybody tight, but we have struggled to get the results so maybe this is kind of what changes it.”
The Cowboys play at Hebron, which is at fourth place with a 2-2-4 record, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., a win could possibly put the Cowboys very close to a playoff spot.
February 21, 2020
The Coppell boys soccer team has had a rough District 6-6A season so far, standing second to last in the district with a record of 1-4-2. In a winless drought six-matches long, the team hopes to turn around its season with a victory over MacArthur at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Buddy Echols Field.
MacArthur has not seen a great season so far either, placing last place in the district, with a record of 0-4-4.
“We’ve been playing really poorly and definitely not to the standard we expected,” Coppell senior midfielder Ben Wang said. “We obviously have our backs against the ropes a little bit with the end of the first half of the district [season], but we’re looking forward to bouncing back. MacArthur is in last place right now, so it’s crucial we get the win.”
The two teams last met on Jan. 24 for the first match of the district season – a 2-0 Cowboys victory – for Coppell’s only win so far in district play.
“These last few games we haven’t got the results we wanted but have nonetheless learned from our difficulties,” Coppell senior winger Tom Vazhekatt said. “We expect to come out strong tomorrow and beat MacArthur again as we did at the start of the season.”
February 19, 2020
With less than 13 minutes left in the match and a tie score, tensions were high between Coppell and Irving Nimitz. Then, at the 12:39 mark, Nimitz’s Miguel Landeros scored – his third goal of the night.
The Cowboys were unable to produce any more results and fell to the Vikings, 3-2, last night at Buddy Echols Field.
Despite Coppell taking an early 2-0 lead in the first half from freshman midfielder Nicolas Radicic with an assist from senior midfielder Caleb Razo and off a header from senior defender MJ Fleeks with an assist from sophomore defender Walker Stone, Landeros scored to end the half 2-1. Nimitz came into the second half with a stronger offensive presence and took two goals within 12 minutes of each other.
“[It was a] helluva game,” Landeros said. “We just got to play one game by one – fighting. We have got to win. We just play with our heads. 2-0? No, 2-0 is crazy. We won, baby, Nimitz, baby.”
The Coppell defense weakened in the second half of the match, allowing Nimitz to take more shots on goal. Through the efforts of Coppell sophomore goalkeeper Arath Valdez, the score remained close for a large portion of the match.
However, it was not enough.
“It’s tough to have a 2-0 lead and give up three goals to one player who’s a good player; we just made it too easy on him,” Coppell coach James Balcom said. “This was a tough one, this is going to hurt the boys pretty hard. We’ll see if we can come back and get back after it tomorrow.”
In the first half, Nimitz’s Jonathan Morales nearly scored off a corner kick, but the ball hit the crossbar. Though there was a slight debate on whether or not it bounced in before going out, the ultimate decision was no goal.
In the second half, the same thing happened, though on the opposite side. Coppell took a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced out, and the official call was no goal.
Throughout, there were numerous attempts from each side, Coppell more so than Nimitz. However, the Cowboys were unable to capitalize while Nimitz took advantage of the opportunities created.
“Something that’s been a problem for us all year, especially when we’re playing a good player, is not having lapses every now and then,” Coppell senior midfielder Nathan Hernandez said. “After we scored the two goals, we lapsed in intensity and that really came back to hurt us because they scored.
“I was really disappointed, it’s our last game for the first part of the season. A lot of us are seniors and we’re sitting at the bottom of the table right now.”
Coppell now sits at seventh in District 6-6A with a 1-4-2 record. Having not seen a win since their first match against Irving MacArthur, the Cowboys have a difficult second-round path in order to make playoffs.
“[There is] not a whole lot of room for error,” Balcom said. “We have got to win out from here.”