Western Texas College scored two goals within a 32-second span late in the first half of play on Saturday, Oct. 27, and raced to a 3-1 victory over Ranger College in the finals of the Region V Soccer Championships at The Depot in Cleburne.
"You have to give them (Western Texas) credit, they did what they had to do," said Ranger head coach Rafael Gonzalez, who guided his squad to a second straight appearance to the regional championship game. "They're a good team."
With the loss, Ranger College closed out its season with an 8-7 record.
After battling Western to a 0-0 deadlock through the first 35 minutes of the contest, the Rangers found themselves staring at a huge deficit. Western Texas' Manuel Castrejon pushed a header off a corner kick into the net with 9:57 left in the first half for the game's first score.
Castrejon staked the Westerners to a 2-0 lead just 35 seconds later when he lofted a shot that found the back of the net. His second goal put Western Texas up 2-0 with 9:15 to play in the half.
Western Texas, who finished first in the Region V standings during the regular season, tacked on a goal by Gerardo Reyes in the second half to close out the scoring.
Despite the loss, Gonzalez said he had high expectations for his team heading into the offseason.
"We have most of our players coming back next season," he said. "I expect for us to come back strong and be here again."
Ranger rolled into the championship with an impressive 3-1 victory over Hill College in the semifinals.
In that game, freshman Jarrell McMaster booted three goals, increasing his conference-leading total to 25 for the year.