BOYS SOCCER: Eagles Impressive in Pasadena Cup Conquest

BOYS SOCCER: Eagles Impressive in Pasadena Cup Conquest
Posted on 01/20/2014
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The Eagles pose for a trophy photo after nailing down their second Pasadena Cup title in three years on Saturday night.

7190For Pasadena High boys soccer Coach Gavin Bruce, Saturday night’s Pasadena Cup championship match with Mayde Creek was all about match-making.

“Our other trophy,” Bruce said, “was getting lonely.”

The high-flying Eagles provided a companion for their 2012 Pasadena Cup trophy in a 1-1 tie capped by a 5-4 shootout victory over the Rams at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 

Junior Julio Jimenez nailed the Eagles’ final penalty kick and goalie Diego Pineda  was the center of a mob celebration after the Rams missed the equalizer. Mayde Creek’s Fernando Rivas slammed his kick off the left post of the goal to bring the contest to a close.

Pasadena’s breakthrough performance came Saturday morning when the Eagles battled to a 1-1 tie with 2013 state semifinalist Alief Elsik at San Jacinto College South. The tie was all the Eagles needed to win a spot in one of four Pasadena Cup championship games played later in the day.

The other three championships went to Clear Springs, Jersey Village and Cy-Falls. Jersey Village won without playing, the result of a forfeit by wild card finalist Seven Lakes, which declined to play.

Clear Springs beat Cy-Springs 3-0 and Cy-Falls won a 4-2 shootout with Alief Taylor after the two had deadlocked 1-1 in regulation.

The Eagles opened the tournament – and the season – with victories over Fort Bend Bush and Baytown Sterling before the twin ties against Alief Elsik and Mayde Creek.

Bruce said he was disappointed his team didn’t beat Mayde Creek outright.

“What happened is what I thought would happen,” he said. “We spilled our guts in the morning against Elsik. It’s hard to do that twice in a row. Still, we scored 10 goals in the tournament, and that’s pretty good for us.”

Senior Jose Pacheco gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute with a blast into the net following a feed from Julio Montano. The goal came less than a minute after Maybe Creek’s starting goalie, William Vasquez, was forced out of the game with an ankle injury.

Mayde Creek tied the game in the 62nd minute, but the Rams were forced to play the final 15 minutes with just 10 players. 

“We couldn’t take advantage,” Bruce said.

Against Elsik, Pasadena took the lead when senior Aurelio Oturo scored in the 54th minute following a scoreless first half. Elsik tied the game in the 65th minute on a goal by Kayode George, but a tie essentially meant victory for the Eagles.

 “This was a grudge match, in a way,” Bruce said. “Our teams are relatively even in terms of size and skills.”

The Eagles finished with 25 points in Group Green, one point ahead of Elsik.

Elsik, 4-0-1 going into the contest, reached the state semifinals last spring by ousting Dobie in the regional title game. Dobie led a four-team Pasadena ISD sweep of 22-5A’s four playoff spots last year. Pasadena earned a playoff berth in 2013 by finishing fourth.

Pasadena was the only Pasadena ISD school to earn a championship-round spot in this year’s Pasadena Cup.

Pasadena junior Julio Jimenez approaches the ball on what proved to be the decisive penalty kick. 

Goalie Diego Pineda is mobbed by happy teammates after the Eagles prevailed in the shootout. On the ground is Maybe Creek's Fernando Rivas, whose missed penalty kick ended the shootout.

Pasadena's Jesus Cantu collides with Mayde Creek goalie William Vazquez, who sprained his ankle on the play and left the game. The Eagles scored their only goal just seconds later.

Pasadena senior Jose Pancheco is swarmed by teammates after scoring a first-half goal and giving his team a 1-0 lead.

Eagles Coach Gavin Bruce surveys the action during the second half.

Pasadena senior Luis Cayon hustles to the ball during first-half play.

Pasadena's Julio Jimenez centers the ball late in the game.

Bruce gets an ice-water bath after the shootout.

7140Against Alief Elsik, Pasadena's Julio Jimenez cuts off the ball as the Rams threaten near the Eagles' goal in the first half.

7158The Eagles' Jorge Williams streaks down the sideline in the second half.

7149Pasadena's Julio Montano centers the ball during second-half action.

7165Eagles players celebrate their tie against Elsik with hugs and high fives.