The Dripping Springs boys soccer team utilized strong defense to upend the Crockett Cougars in a 2-0 shutout Friday.
By virtue of the win, Dripping Springs (11-2-7, 6-1-2) is now three points ahead in first place and gathered some breathing room with only a handful of contests remaining.
“You can beat or lose to any team in this district and you can see that by the standings,” Dripping Springs head coach Josh Hill said. “It’s probably the only one in this Austin district that we are in, only sport, that’s this competitive. So, it means a lot (to win).”
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead over the Cougars at the 34:38 minute mark in the first half. A long throw-in from the sideline by Ken Gossett bounced between two players and into the middle of the box, where Dripping Springs’ Ethan Roberts placed a header towards the back post.
“You see so many of those long throws, you know the first two guys challenge they almost negate each other or take each other out,” said Hill. “The ball just ends up going to the back post. I told Ethan, ‘go to the back post,’ and he was right there and headed it in.”
Dripping Springs’ next goal didn’t come until the final minutes of the game as junior Max Gonzales broke away and scored on a counter-attack at the 6:55 minute mark in the second half.
“When I was running, I was looking and the keeper was moving more to the left side of the goal, so I just opened up my foot and hit it back post.” Gonzales said.
Attacking the goal was a big part of Dripping Springs game plan and dominated Crockett by out-shooting the Cougars 27-2, with 14-1 shots on goal, during the match. Hill credits the Tigers with putting themselves in good positions to score with a lot of corners and set pieces.
While the Tiger offense was rolling, the defense was just as good as they prevented the Cougars from scoring opportunities and gave up their only shot on goal in the second half. Hill said that he was impressed with the play of his back four defenders during the match and applauds them for the shutout performance.
“We have a really great back four,” said Hill. “Sometimes our midfield, we look slow sometimes, and sometimes we are vulnerable I guess defensively. But our back four really really is solid, and if we can keeping having shutouts like this that’s good.”
Dripping Springs returns home March 5 when it hosts Lockhart. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.