By TONY EIERDAM
Aledo scored an early goal and hung on to defeat the Mineral Wells Rams soccer team, 1-0, Tuesday night in a key District 12-4A match at Ram Stadium.
The win keeps the Bearcats in first place as the Rams drop to third place.
In District 12-4A soccer, winning teams are awarded three points in the standings while a tie brings one point and a loss no points.
Aledo has 27 points, followed by Azle with 25 points and the Rams with 22. Saginaw, the Rams’ opponent at home on Friday in a 6 p.m. start, sits in fourth with 21 points.
The top four teams in district qualify for the playoffs.
With three matches remaining, the Rams can still win the district, but the loss to Aledo made it more difficult. After playing Saginaw, the Rams will conclude the season on Monday at Boswell and on March 19 at home against Brewer.
“As coaches, sometimes we get mad when we lose a game because we may feel the effort wasn’t there or certain aspects of the game plan were not executed,” Rams head coach Rolando Borjon said. “But that is not the case (Tuesday night). The guys played extremely hard and never quit.
“I thought the guys played with emotion and intensity the entire game, but they just couldn’t get shots to find the back of the net. But it isn’t because they were not trying.
“I was pleased to see that they did not get down after Aledo scored an early goal. The guys just kept playing hard, and hey, sometimes you play hard and do not win.
“But I am in no way mad. Not at all.”
Borjon also praised the play of senior goalkeeper Caleb Bandy.
“Caleb made some huge saves,” he said. “He even stopped a penalty kick. Caleb kept us in the game.”
Aledo 3, Lady Rams 1
Aledo scored twice in the first half and put the match away with a goal with 10:04 left to play to defeat the Mineral Wells Lady Rams, 3-1, Tuesday in the nightcap at Ram Stadium.
The loss drops the Lady Rams to 5-5-1 in District 12-4A play.
Trailing 2-0, the Lady Rams cut the lead to 2-1 just before the half on a goal from freshman Kylie Williams on a penalty kick.
In the second half, Aledo controlled the play in its offensive end for most of the 40 minutes and extended its lead after a close-range goal.
The Lady Rams had a corner kick and two scoring chances in the final 10 minutes but all three chances were turned away.
Mineral Wells assistant coach Taylor Eggleston felt the team played well against one of the top teams in the district.
“We (coaches) are definitely proud of the way the girls played,” she said. “We have improved every time we have played Aledo in the last two years.
“I thought Kylie stepped up and took care of business on the PK, and that is a lot of pressure for a freshman. She put the ball where it needed to be and scored a goal.
“I think our confidence is boosted after playing so well, and as coaches after seeing the way the girls played (Tuesday night) we won’t accept anything less for the remainder of the season.
“We know the girls are capable of beating teams like Aledo and Boswell, and frankly, that’s what we expect. We will need to play the same way on Friday. That is a big game.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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