HS Boys Soccer: Conroe victorious over The Woodlands in a wild five-goal match
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The sport of soccer is known as the beautiful game. In reality, it is a chaotic game, but the wild and unpredictable scenes that play out on the pitch is what makes this game beautiful. The energy and emotion that flows around in an intense rivalry are about as good as it gets in sports. Tuesday night’s 3-2 win for the Conroe Tigers over the District 15-6A co-leader The Woodlands was the perfect example of why this game entertains so many around the world.
In a game that very easily could have featured nine total goals, Conroe versus The Woodlands lived up to the expectations. The Tigers came into their home game sitting in third place by just a point over College Park while the Highlanders aimed to take three points on the road to potentially break a tie with Klein Forest at the top of the table. With only three games left for The Woodlands and four for Conroe, the impact of wins and losses is at its peak.
Conroe looked like a team that was determined to finally pick up a win over the Highlanders after being winless in their last 10 tries. The Tigers pressured The Woodlands all over the field and played with more energy right from the opening whistle. The Tigers thought they had taken the lead just 10 minutes into the game, but the offside flag went up to keep zeros on the scoreboard. Minutes later, a kick save from Highlander’s keeper Eddy Tenorio stopped Conroe from scoring again. As the half went on, the game began to balance out with The Woodlands picking up their play, but the game still remained scoreless going into halftime.
Conroe scored again early in the second half, but once again, the goal was disallowed due to a handball. The chaos in this game really kicked into gear when around 10 minutes into the second half, The Woodlands was denied the game’s first goal when a Conroe defender cleared the ball off the goal line of a wide-open net. Conroe’s very next trip into the attacking third resulted in the Tigers taking the lead for real this time with a well-placed header by Carlos Salinas.
After The Woodlands committed a foul just outside of the penalty box, Danny Bonilla sent Moorhead Stadium into a frenzy with a free-kick laser into the bottom left corner of the net. Bonilla’s 20th goal of the season had the district leader in deep water with just over 20 minutes left to play.
“[Bonilla]’s an amazing player,” said Conroe coach Michael Pistor. “He’s the all-time leading scorer in Conroe history, he’s already signed his college offer and we’re so happy for him. I can’t wait to see what he does at the next level.”
The Woodlands sits at the top of the standings for a reason. They’ve shown they can overcome adversity and the team is filled with game-changing talent. The Highlanders proved this once again and in about five minutes, scored twice from the penalty spot to level the match at two. Ian De Koster converted both penalties with ease and suddenly the Highlanders looked poised to steal a win on the road.
Conroe’s Anthony Leon made sure the home fans went home happy after he pounced on a loose ball that seemed to ricochet off any and everyone in front of the net and scored with 11 minutes left on the clock. A late push for a tying goal by The Woodlands was nearly successful. The Highlanders’ best chance at their third goal was once again cleared off the line. The Conroe defender headed away the threat with 20 seconds left to preserve the massive win.
Coach Pistor won’t spend too much time celebrating the big win as the Tigers have another opportunity to gain some ground in the standings on Friday against Klein Collins.
“We’re so thankful for the great fan support we have, and we just can’t wait to get ready for Klein Collins,” said Pistor.
Conroe (8-3-2, 26pts) will travel to Klein Collins to take on the Tigers on Friday. The Woodlands (10-3-1, 31 pts) will have time to regroup after back-to-back losses with a bye on Friday.