Bears battle for 1-0 win against Cole

Bears battle for 1-0 win against Cole
La Vernia junior Brian Beltran sends a penalty kick into the corner of the net Feb. 2 to seal his team’s 1-0 win against Cole. The Bears (9-5-1) begin district play this Friday against Pleasanton.

A well-placed penalty kick earned the Bear soccer team a 1-0 win Feb. 2 against the Cole Cougars in La Vernia.

“I didn’t want to win with a [penalty kick], but I’ll take it,” said La Vernia Head Coach Jose Carranza.

La Vernia started off the game with an attack, but was turned back by a stiff Cougar defense. Bear goalie Bryce Crane scooped up the Cougars’ own first attempt at scoring. The first 40 minutes were played mostly in midfield, as neither team could penetrate the opponent’s defense to score.

“[Midfielder] Eduardo ‘Yayo’ Cruz was able to adapt to the amount of pressure placed on him and he sustained till the end,” his coach said. “His swift foot skills managed to place the ball at the right place at the right time.”

Defense was the name of the game in the second half, as well. Both teams had shots on goal, but their respective goalies were up to the task.

“We kept missing in the second half even though we had plenty of shots and opportunities,” Carranza said. “This just means we go back to the drawing board and plan on how to overcome such obstacles.”

Halfway through the half, the Bears sent in a shot, but a defending Cougar touched the ball with his hand, resulting in a penalty call.

Junior Brian Beltran stepped up and kicked the ball into the corner of the net for the only point of the game.

Carranza said that the Bears started out the season on a high note, winning their first three games, but had suffered some injuries that sidelined several players. All but one of his players is back on the field, he said. Some are at full strength, but others are limited.

The Bears (9-5-1) took on Bandera at home Feb. 6, and begin district play this Friday at home against Pleasanton.