Tigers stomp Panthers in late surge

The second half in the Feb. 7 matchup between the Dripping Springs Tigers and Medina Valley Panthers quickly turned into the soccer equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotters game.

Dripping Springs played the part of the Globetrotters by imposing its will on the opposition in a lopsided 4-2 victory.

Medina Valley happened to be the hapless Washington Generals, unable to create significant resistance to test the Globetrotters.

Tiger Pedro Casanova sweeps the ball away from a Medina Valley player. (photo by Moses Leos III)

Dripping Springs dominated possession in the second half, attempting 16 shots, en route to the win. Three of its goals occurred after the halftime break, while Medina Valley could only muster three shot attempts and zero goals in the final 40 minutes.

It was a far cry from the first half, when Medina Valley converted two of its three shots into goals.

Medina Valley’s Cade Thayer opened the match with an attempt from more than 30 yards out, a hard line-drive that forced the Tigers’ goalkeeper to leap and fully extend his arms in order to stop the shot.

His arms weren’t long enough though, and the ball clanged on the right pole, ricocheted and dribbled in for the goal.

Dorian Downes added another goal from 10 yards out to extend the Panthers’ halftime lead to 2-1.

Dripping Springs, meanwhile, attempted more shots than its district counterparts in the first half. All it had to show for the shot advantage was one goal from Alexis Aldama.

“We were really, really unlucky in the first half,” said Dripping Springs coach Brian Ormonde. “That’s been the theme of this season unfortunately.”

Dripping Springs’ luck changed in the second half.

“I started the second half exactly how I started the first half … I told them at halftime ‘just finish your chances.’ That’s what we weren’t doing in the first half. We had the same opportunities; they didn’t go in the back of the net.” Brian Ormonde, Dripping Springs coach

The Tigers’ second half onslaught began and ended with Pedro Casanova. With his team trailing by one goal, Casanova took it on himself to settle the score. He received a pass on the right flank, beat his defender to the spot and made a play.

Casanova’s shot landed directly in the goalkeepers’ mitts. This time around the ball bounced in the goal, which was a fortuitous break for a team unaccustomed to luck this season.

“We got better luck tonight,” Ormonde said. “The goals came instead of not coming.”

And the goals didn’t stop. Dripping Springs’ Jose Galindo lofted a high-arcing shot that floated into the net for the go-ahead goal. Galindo’s shot proved to be the beginning of the end for Medina Valley.

“They came alive,” Ormonde said. “I saw the change. The pressure was off because we were ahead and we can just go for more.

Casanova assisted on the final goal of the match – another one for good measure – after carving through the defense with the precision of an X-Acto knife.

“One of my seniors, I was really proud of him, Pedro, he just took the ball himself and went down the side over there, cut in and put one in the back of the net,” Ormonde said. “A couple of individual goals like that were the difference maker.”

Medina Valley, which lost both meetings to Dripping Springs this season, happened to catch an unlucky team at an unlucky time.

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