Boys Soccer took a huge early step towards winning a district title by producing an epic come from behind win against Travis on Saturday morning. Lanier controlled the early proceedings but found themselves down a player and a goal when Erick Sarmiento’s mistimed tackle from behind was judged to have denied Travis an obvious goal scoring opportunity with only seven seconds remaining in the scoreless first half. The punishment that resulted was severe as Travis were awarded a penalty that was scored on the rebound after Felix Santana’s excellent penalty save bounced directly back to the shooter. In addition to going a goal behind, Sarmiento was issued his walking papers and Lanier were forced to play with 10 for the remainder of the game.
Lanier started the 2nd half calmly though, content to sit back and absorb pressure, and refusing the panic. The team produced an inspired defensive effort spurred on by the raucous support of the near sell-out crowd led by true Lanier Ultras Kirsten Christopherson and Nathan Woodward. It was clear that these ten men would not go down quietly. Danny Vargas moved back from forward and slotted into Sarmiento’s right back position in a stout defensive line anchored by Michael Varela and Luis Zuniga. The midfield partnership of Henrry Orantes and Juan Carlos Hernandez locked down the center of the field and sent Mario Gomez and Edgar Mejia galloping forward on counter attacks.
With ten minutes remaining and the Vikings opening up more to find an equalizer, Michael Varela stepped out of defense to win possession and play a defense splitting pass to the feet of Shelove Dorsainvil at the edge of the box. Shelove’s first touch split two defenders and drew the keeper off his line. His second touch was a perfectly timed lob over the helplessly stranded keeper that leveled the score and sent the Lanier faithful into a frenzy. On the ensuing kick-off, Andres Zuniga used his experience to win possession and draw a foul just inside his own half. Luis Zuniga took the ball, set it down behind the midfield line, and blasted a free kick that flew over the heads of the entire Travis team and into the top corner. The Vikings had turned the game around in a single minute and won a crucial district match against a championship rival. The Lanier faithful were in dreamland at the final whistle, and AISD police deserve great credit for keeping the peaceful celebrations from spilling over onto the field.
Visit Hudl to see all the highlights from the game: http://www.hudl.com/video/2/1073/58989fad90f9b1149c8b6404
Lanier 2 – Travis 1
Goals: Shelove Dorsainvil and Luis Zuniga
Assists: Michael Varela
MOTM: Shelove Dorsainvil