Hawks Win Exciting Football (Soccer) Game over Austin Memorial in Shoot-Out, 5-4
Canyon Lake keeps finding ways to win after coming back from a 2 goal deficit in a win over Austin Eastside Memorial (AEM) in a Shoot-Out, 5-4.
This will put your Hawks in the Sweet 16 for their 2nd time in 3 years as they will face Gonzales in the Regional Semi-Finals this coming Friday at 4pm in McAllen, Texas.
CL has been a 2nd half team since the middle of this season and this contest would be no different after giving up a savable goal at the 38:13 mark to open the game. Jorge DeLeon was the Hawks Goal-Keeper that gave up that goal to a Panther team that carried a 19-3 record and a 10 game winning streak coming into this game. This Panther team had averaged, 6 goals per contest in bulldozing their way through District 26-4A and Championship.
AEM had a lot of offensive weapons with 5 players that had amassed 23 or more points this year led by David Nava (38 points) and followed by Luis Enrique Martinez Chavez (36 points). Compared to the Hawk’s Joshua Szcech’s (24 points) and Trenton Lorett’s (20 points) in leading CL.
This night would have a little bit of everything and it was CL that had enough stamina to finish and qualify for another round of post-season excitement.
“The heart of these kids….they just fight every second,” Head Coach Ryan Tierney stated. “After they (AEM) went ahead by 2 goals, the team kept saying, ‘this season is not over, we still have 10 minutes’, and they never backed down.”
On spotting their opponent a first half lead, “Our mentality in the first half has to change,” Coach Tierney said. “We tried a lot of different things in how we are warming up to when we left school for this game to see if we could have a better start.”
That would not be the case, as was mentioned before, in the Panther’s scoring, a seeing eye goal, by the Panthers to start this game. This would be a similar start to that Lampasas Bi-District game, where the Badgers worked up a 2-0 advantage, which would be the same score on this night. The difference, being 2 rounds further in this post-season, which gives you a better opponent and comebacks not being a shoe-in.
On how long that opening goal played into his mind, DeLeon would recall, “I thought about that goal the entire game….all the way through to the shoot-out and every time they scored or we would score.”
Coach Tierney had some moves that were warranted based on how this game was progressing and in that 2nd half Coach would move DeLeon from being a goalie to his regular offensive spot during this season. “It helped me and the team,” De Leon quipped. “Eastside was going after where I played and taking advantage of us and, in the back of my mind, we needed to put pressure on them.”
DeLeon started the game on a sour note but his last note was a sound of pure bliss after being that final player, with a chance to clinch this win, with his shoot-out goal that ended the game for these Hawk’s and recording their 17th win.
“The crowd was amazing….that was the first time in my 4 years of playing that I had heard, ‘Go Hawks Go’, and that was a sound that I have never experienced….it really pushed us!!!!”
Canyon Lake has clinched another record as a first, in having a winning play-off record (5-3), which is a fete no other Hawk team can claim.
Pretty salty based on a sport that did not have any success their first 7 years. The Lake had been shut-out of qualifying for a Bi-District chance, up until this Senior Class, entered the CL Halls as freshman.
So, in moving DeLeon from his goalie position, would then have a Sophomore who had only played on the Hawk’s Junior Varsity up unto this moment in the spot-light.
Shawn Bell would be that person, with all the pressure a battle like this would be able to thrust, into this script.
AEM would take a 2 goal lead inside the 25 minute mark and now Shawn Bell would be that last line of defense.
“It was a little bit of pressure,” Shawn Bell responded. “I have been playing with these guys, game in and game out, and team wise they welcomed me in and it felt like I had been playing with them this whole season.”
That team attribute might be a result of having a Senior ladened team and knowing they could overcome this circumstance.
Shawn Bell would respond in giving up just one goal at the 5:51 mark left in regulation after Shawn’s brother (Matt Bell) had just scored on a penalty kick that tightened the score to a, 2-1 affair, three minutes earlier.
“We were keeping pressure on them but just could not finish,” Matt Bell said when asked about another slow start. “As soon as we got the kick that made the score, 2-3, I knew that we had changed the momentum!”
Matt Bell continued, “When we started with our low pressure defense we knew we would have to change but they had a lot of speed and a great skill set but we knew we needed to go out with a full press.”
However, Austin Memorial was back, in the driver’s seat with this score which ballooned their advantage to, 3-1 and now CL would need to get back to a one goal deficit…and 30 seconds later on a corner kick and still a little over 5 minutes left on the clock. That was a Michael Carpenter score off an assist by Matt Bell’s kick.
This was Carpenter’s 3rd goal in his last three battles after accumulating 4 goals during his time as a Hawk up to this point.
“We were going to make the switch on our goalie but we did not want to do it too soon or too late,” Coach Tierney recalled. “I did not want to wait too long and lose a chance of staying within striking distance….Lorett was down and that was when we made the change….we knew we could get our attack back and we (Coaches) have confidence in all of our guys.”
Like a technician, Coach Tierney, would have to work some miracles to get Canyon Lake back into this game.
“We needed to change the whole field for motion and so we pushed Michael Carpenter to midfield and they were not ready, as we started playing their game.”
Now down, 3-2, Canyon Lake would spend much of those remaining 5 minutes on AEM’s side of the field and a hat trick by Matt Bell with his 2nd goal that would tie this contest at 3 goals a piece with 2:37 left to play. This time Carpenter would return the favor with an assist.
A long haul to this point that had your Hawks scoring 3 goals within a 6 minute stretch up to that last score.
There would be two 10 minute overtime periods and Canyon Lake would keep their momentum with a score that had :54 seconds remaining in that first OT. Guess who, Matt Bell, was good again and CL would go into that final OT trying to stave off a furious attack by this Panther team. Josh Szcech has the assist that would give the Hawks their first lead in this marathon.
AEM had lightning speed and flawless passing and that played into their motif when they would tie this classic contest with 1:24 remaining in that final 10 minute OT. Canyon Lake would hold the Panther’s off with more great defense from CL’s back row and newbie goal keeper Shawn Bell.
A game with enough plots and sub-plots to make a Broadway play would have one more finale in the form of a shoot-out.
Canyon Lake had many players that had integral parts in this masterpiece and Nash Young had been a part of the Hawks last run two years ago as a freshman. That year, Young, had the goal that put CL on the winning side in a game against Salado. That team had just one loss and was ranked in the top 3 in Texas but a Young score late in that contest would give Canyon Lake their biggest upset in programs and School’s history up to that point.
“I caught myself looking at the ground,” Young said when AEM had increased their lead back to two goals, 3-1 late in this contest. “But I brought my head back up and said that this game was not over.”
Young was the tallest player for either team and responded to what it was like, when matched up with a shorter player, “I’m more used to my size but I have to find their pass and they will usually be quicker than usual….but I can still hold them off.”
All of the Hawks would not be stopped on their trek in this shoot-out, while Shawn Bell would get his hand on AEM’s second kick and then was successful on that next try with a stop that had the ball hitting the side of the goal and barely stayed out. That was the miss that had your Hawks, punching their Sweet 16 ticket, to McAllen.
“Everyone knows our potential and that our road does not end here and we will need to prepare and find ways to break down the door,” Young said like an Old Sage. “This crowd made a big presence and that meant a lot…to hear them cheering for us!!”
“I told the team that this can’t be the end and now our goals have changed in what we hope to accomplish this year,” Coach Tierney said.
On if he was having fun, “I will never forget this game….I will take this to my grave.”
Thanks Coach, hold off on that grave part until the Post-Season is over, we want you to have a much longer memory!!
1 2 OT 1 OT 2 Shoot-out Austin Eastside Memorial 1 2 0 1 3 Canyon Lake Hawks 0 3 1 0 5 Goals: Matt Bell 8:19 2nd period Penalty Kick Michael Carpenter 5:20 2nd period Assist Matt Bell Matt Bell 2:37 2nd period Assist Mike Carpenter Matt Bell 0:54 OT 1 Assist Josh Szcech Shoot-out Josh Szcech 1-0 AEM 1-1 Trenton Lorett 2-1 AEM 2-2 Matt Bell 3-2 AEM 3-2 Shawn Bell Save Michael Carpenter 4-2 AEM 4-3 Jorge DeLeon 5-3 AEM no-kick