JANUARY 21, 2021
With Coppell and McKinney Boyd tied, the final seconds of the match ticked down on the scoreboard as an unlikely stroke of luck came to the Cowboys in the form of a handball from McKinney Boyd, forcing a penalty kick from Coppell senior midfielder Alex Salvo.
When he shoots, it seems McKinney Boyd senior goalkeeper Ethan Uribe has gotten his hand on the ball. He has, but Salvo’s kick breaks free from Uribe’s hold into the goal, giving the Cowboys a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at Buddy Echols Field.
“It was a lucky win but we earned it,” Coppell senior defender Garrett Greaves said. “We were trying to get anything up in the goal, get into the box. We’ve gotten penalty kicks the last few games. We’re trying not to rely on it, but in that moment anything works.”
In three of the past four matches, Coppell has scored a match winning goal from a penalty kick within the last minute and a half.
“We’re getting them for a reason, we’re working hard and making them make mistakes in the back right as it’s about to finish so we’re forcing them to give us a penalty,” Coppell coach James Balcom said.
The Cowboys ran down the remaining seconds on the clock and Coppell beat the state-ranked McKinney Boyd.
The match started slow, both teams staying in formation and possession switching back and forth. Coppell scored the first goal in the second half, 52:44 minutes into the match.
“We played at home which made a difference,” Coppell senior defender Daniel Nelson said. “The energy was really good, we were able to play our game and we didn’t let the other team decide the game for us.”
But as McKinney Boyd grew more frantic with around 10 minutes left, play quickened and Coppell gave McKinney Boyd junior forward Spencer Sarkissian an opening to slip clean past defense and even the score.
“We had a span for about ten minutes where we didn’t do a good job playing our game,” Balcolm said. “We had a one goal lead, the other team was getting frantic, speeding up and we fell into that trap, just chasing all over the place. When we do that, a guy gets out of position and now we’re chasing to our goal. And [Sarkissian] made a great play.”
After a long stretch with few goals and few ideal results, taking down McKinney Boyd restored some of Coppell’s confidence.
“As long as we play our game, work hard, don’t let the other team decide it for us, we can dominate play,” Nelson said. “I mean, we’re Coppell.”