The Hays Rebel Boys soccer team saw a lot of progress from the prior week in its 2-0 home loss to the Lake Travis Cavaliers last Friday.
The 2-7-1 Rebels were up to the challenge early, as the current second place team in the district struggled to find payday early.
The Cavaliers dominated the time of possession over the first 15 minutes of the match, but the Rebel defense remained solid. Hays keeper Lane Reynolds dominated, making six saves over the first 20 minutes of the match. Hays head coach Jason Burnett had high praise for his goalie after the match.
“That kid is phenomenal,” Burnett said. “Lane has been doing a great job back there.”
Hays was able to put together a few solid runs of its own midway through the half. After getting off a few shots and putting pressure on the Cavaliers, Hays junior Gerardo Rodriguez unleashed a shot that missed the top of the goal by mere inches. Lake Travis responded with several offensive possessions of its own, but Reynolds stayed strong, saving two more shots. The Cavaliers finally found a chink in his armor, as a one-on-one situation resulted in the first goal of the game, and a 1-0 lead for the visitors going into half.
Over the first 20 minutes of the second half, neither squad pulled away from the other. The possession battle went back and forth for most of the half. Lake Travis was able to put together a run near the 20-minute mark, but the shot sailed high and out of danger for the Rebels.
The last 20 minutes of the match saw more physical play from both sides. So physical in fact, that Hays senior Alfredo Beltran was issued a yellow card, despite there being some physical play from both teams. The referee’s decision would bite the Rebels again when Lake Travis was awarded a penalty kick just a few minutes later. Keeper Reynolds successfully guessed the direction of the kick, diving to his left, but he was unable to get a hand on the ball, resulting in a late 2-0 Lake Travis lead with 14 minutes to go. Hays put together several offensive runs after that, but could not break through, and the Cavaliers walked away with a hard fought 2-0 victory.
Despite the loss, Burnett saw a lot of progress in his squad even from just a week ago.
“I feel like this was one of the better games they played,” Burnett said. “They did a lot better job of finding the open player and moving the ball. They showed growth in that.”
The now 2-8-1 Hays Rebels will continue their homestand next Tuesday when they host the Del Valle Cardinals next Tuesday.