Angelina College’s Josue Salazar was inches – and four seconds – away from notching a hat trick for the Roadrunners.
Instead, Laredo College keeper Gonzalo Santa managed to edge Salazar away from what would have been the game-tying header, sealing a 3-2 win for the Palominos, the third-place team in Region XIV, Saturday at Jase Magers Field in Lufkin.
The loss marked the eighth Roadrunner defeat this season by two goals or fewer.
The ending capped a thriller featuring a defensive battle in the first half followed by second-half fireworks. Neither team could break through over the first 45 minutes, leaving the match in a scoreless draw at the break.
Laredo changed the scoreless status just 90 seconds into the second half: Palomino Rodave Murray worked his way around AC defenders to score his first of two goals.
The Roadrunners nearly answered 30 seconds later when Santiago Maya’s shot attempt from inside the box – and in front of an open net – glanced off the top of his foot.
Laredo’s Murray headed home his second score in the 54th minute for the 2-0 Laredo lead. AC’s Salazar got the ‘Runners on the board by winning a header in the box, but Laredo answered three minutes later, with Murray having a hand in the score. His shot attempt in the 59th minute deflected back to teammate Tedi Lesi, who knocked it home.
Salazar brought AC to within a goal at 3-2 with a left-footer from distance, and the Roadrunners mounted a furious charge in the game’s final minutes, only to come up short.
The Roadrunners will host their home finale Tuesday night against Jacksonville as part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader. The Lady Roadrunners kick off at 5:30 and the Roadrunners at 7:30. Both AC teams will celebrate Sophomore Night festivities prior to each game.
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games.
Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.
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