Top Ten Countdown, #4: The Last Becomes First in Boy’s Soccer Win over Gonzales, 4-3
The Top Ten Count Down for Hawk games this past year is now ready for the 4th place contest.
The Last shall become First and these past two years we have seen an awakening of two sleeping teams that have since been supplying the Hawk Nation with some memorable moments.
CL’s Boys Basketball and Soccer were the last two teams to be entered into the post-season last year and now those same two teams continued their ascension by improving their district seed while enjoying their first winning records.
The Boy’s Soccer team had really been down in the dumps with some of their seasons having a tough time scoring much less putting marks on the win column.
With Soccer ending seasons after the basketball team has this group of players and teams carrying the moniker of being the last official club to make the playoffs during the 2016 year.
Add to that by being the last group to have more wins than losses into their season. The Hawks finished the story book season with 16 wins which doubled the amount of wins reached the year before.
The Seniors had a way of doubling up victories as each new year would unfold.
W L T Pct. 2014 2 10 1 .192 Freshman Year 2015 4 13 1 .250 Sophomore Year 2016 8 10 2 .450 Junior Year Lost 1st Round of Playoffs 2017 16 7 2 .680 Senior Year Lost 4A Regional Semifinals
Canyon Lake had their 2010 Baseball season with the first team to make the 2nd round of playoff contests and all the schools had been stuck in that first round stratosphere. Getting past that round has been the stopping point for every Hawk Sport up unto this season.
The last team to realize that next round was this game against Gonzales as the Hawk Soccer team made the Sweet 16 round which will now become the last team to make the playoffs and have a winning record to the first CL team to make the 3rd round.
There are not as many schools that play Soccer, so Canyon Lake, drew a bye in the first round and having to wait a week to get back in action would be hurdle that would not hinder this group of players.
With that Bye Week, the Hawks were thrown into a contest that had their opponent advancing via an actual game. Suffice to say, Canyon Lake had already technically advanced further after a win over Salado the week before.
The Hawks did make it official when they finished their game with the Apaches with a hard fought 3rd Round Win which was a win by the skin of their teeth.
Gonzales was well represented as the two combatants had a hard time finding a place to play and a lost coin flip had this contest being played in the Apaches back yard, a mere 20 miles from home.
Canyon Lake meanwhile would have a fun 2 hour drive to Yoakum and while driving up to the stadium and searching for a parking place would give an idea of how tough this opponent might be.
“Our next game against Gonzales was played in Yoakum,” Head Coach Warren Graham started. “I really think the drive there benefited us because we had plenty of time to focus in on the task at hand. Most of the boys were on their phone watching film of Gonzales so that they would know what to expect.”
Whatever the Hawks did on their way to this game, you can deduce the players were dialed in on what needed to be done in order to make the next round.
“Yoakum was a short drive from Gonzales and it is estimated that they had anywhere from 800 to 1,000 fans there,” Coach Graham said with astonishment.
Soccer is not football in Texas and having that many fans at a game is not the norm, in fact, you might say that CL played in front of a crowd that would number more than they played in front of for the year. Maybe even the last two years combined.
“It was extremely difficult to get directions out on the field as boys even 5 yards away couldn’t hear what I was saying,” Coach Graham spoke out. “One thing we were able to notice by watching film was that Gonzales pressed aggressively on kickoffs. We won the opening kickoff and I told the boys to play it long downfield and just see what happens.”
Good words of advice as a pro-Gonzales crowd was muted within seconds of the game starting as a Hawk goal would be realized off that opening kick. The Hawk one goal lead would stand through the first half of play.
There was more in store for Canyon Lake as many would think a shut-out would not last through the remainder of this game and the Hawks would need to find more offense to win.
“Grayson Rohrbacher was able to get on to the ball and scored the first goal less than 30 seconds into the game,” Graham continued. “Gonzales was shocked but quickly stepped up their game and played solid the rest of the half. Our defense once again stepped up and marked extremely well, allowing us to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.”
“I let the boys know at halftime that 1 goal was not going to be enough to win the game and to continue to press hard. Matthew Bell played took a shot early that bounced off their goalie to give us a 2-0 lead early in the second,” Graham recapped. “Gonzales scored next but Nash Young scored to make the score 3-1 and then Trenton Lorett scored his first goal of the year to give us a 4-1 lead.”
That Lorett goal gave a relaxing feeling to the remnant of Hawk fans as the game had reached the final minutes of play and a 3 goal lead looked very satisfying.
The wind was a contributing factor as the team that had that force at their back would have an advantage for longer attacks at goal.
Gonzales did possess the wind in the 2nd half and showed off that concept when their next goal was scored from more than 30 yards from the net.
Coach Graham continued, “Gonzales scored two quick goals and made the score 4-3 without a little over 15 minutes left in the game. We had to play extremely defensively as Gonzales dominated possession and their crowd made it difficult to communicate. The marking ball all of my boys improved and Brayden Damico once again made a save with a few seconds remaining to send us to the regional tournament.”
Canyon Lake’s Soccer team had been the last to make the playoffs and the last to have a winning record but the FIRST to make the Sweet 16 in the Playoffs.
This was a classic game for the last team now becoming the first Canyon Lake group of players to reach the next realm on the Playoff Ladder of success.
Coach Graham’s final thoughts of the contest: “The fans were obviously disappointed but they wished us good luck against Progreso. In fact, that’s the first thing Gonzales’ coach said to me after the game.”
“The bus was completely different on the way home from that game. I think the boys were in a state of shock. It was the same way on the ride down to McAllen. A few of the boys brought their PlayStation and Xbox to McAllen. They all decided to spend the last night there bonding and playing video game tournaments.”
Certainly a fun time for the Hawk fans that made the game for a joyous ride back to the hill-country with a deserving Hawk team.