By the time Dripping Springs senior Brady England tapped in a late second half goal Friday, he and his Tiger teammates were already on the path to victory.
England’s goal, scored at the 68th minute, was one of the final cherries on top of a 6-1 Tiger win over the McCallum Knights, which pulled the Tigers one win closer to an undefeated run in 25-5A.
Yet the moment was one to relish for England, who after a handful of missed attempts finally tallied a score in his final regular season game at Tiger Stadium.
“It’s amazing. It’s senior night. To get one on the final night is amazing,” England said.
An unrelenting offensive presence played a large role in Dripping Springs’ lopsided win. Overall, Dripping Springs outshot McCallum 27-5 in the game; Sixteen of the Tigers’ 27 shots were on goal.
Tiger head coach Josh Hill cited his team’s technical capabilities on the pitch, as well as their skills, as catalysts for success on offense Friday. A “good, balanced attack and a lot of good players,” were also key factors as well, said Hill.
However, Dripping Springs struggled to capitalize on several chances in the early going, missing a handful of scoring opportunities in the first 20-plus minutes of the contest.
That all changed in the 28th minute when Tiger Javier Ortega broke a scoreless stalemate. After Tiger teammate Ethan Roberts’ shot attempt caromed off the crossbar, Ortega collected the rebound and blasted in the goal to give Dripping Springs a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Dripping Springs’ lead grew to 2-0 via a penalty kick from Roberts. McCallum’s lone response came with 80 seconds left in the first half, which cut the Tiger lead to 2-1 at intermission.
It took less than three minutes into the second half for the Tiger offense to reignite.
Dripping Springs’ Adam Knutson scored at the 42nd minute off a cross into the 18-yard box by Ben McWhorter. The Tiger offense kept up the pace and added three more unanswered second half goals scored by Roberts, England and Adam Speigel.
Staying composed and relaxed in the 18-yard box on offense were elements Hill said were necessary in helping the Tigers score goals, primarily in the second half. Maintaining their unblemished district record was a driver for the Tigers to finish, said England.
“We didn’t want to lose this unbeaten district record. We wanted to go out and finish hard,” England said. “To get four goals in the second half, that’s amazing.”
Postseason play is now on Tiger minds as they closed out the regular season Tuesday. For England and his teammates, finding a way to punch a ticket to the regional tournament in Corpus Christi becomes high priority.
Dripping Springs’ 2018 and 2019 campaigns both ended in the regional quarterfinals, a step short of the tournament.
“We’ve been so close the last two years to getting into the regional tournament,” Hill said. “A lot of those teams who make those runs are led by their senior class, and that’s where we are with this group.”