Gamedays are starting to have a familiar routine now: Wake up, check weather, slam head against desk and wait for the call from field operations closing down the pitch.
For the second game in a row, the Diablos were forced to abandon their natural grass stadium due to an unusually wet May, heading to the friendly confines of Denton High School stadium yet again.
And like their season opening match, fans turned out in force to support the Diablos in their second ever club match. Just over 300 passionate supporters filed in to DHS Stadium, and they didn’t have to wait long to see the home team start the party!
Co-captain Brandon Cerda slipped the opening goal past the Dallas City goalie in the 12th minute, celebrating by kicking a mini-ball into the crowd. And similar to our game against Fort Worth, the visitors wasted no time in clawing back, when 9 minutes later in the 21st minute Kevin Olali intercepted a pass out of the back and made the Diablos pay for their mistake with an equalizing strike. The Diablos dominated possession for the ret of the first half, with Jalen James & Harris Partain continuously creating opportunities down the wings with their speed. With 6 minutes left in the half, and against the run of play, Dallas City was able to capitalize on one of their few scoring opportunities when Jose Lopez, near the top of the box, found himself on the end of a defensive clearance off a ball swung into the box. Lopez caught the first time volley perfectly, sending the swerving low shot into the corner of the net. Dallas City took a 2-1 lead into halftime, and for the second game in a row, the Diablos found themselves staring at a deficit coming into the second half.
When asked for the one quality he looks for upon picking his 18 man game day roster, Rakestraw answered, “I look for grit, the intersection of passion and persistence.” Never was this more evident than in the second half of this game, as the grittiness of the Diablos players shown through time and time again. After 15 minutes of high pressure attacking soccer, Chase Drackett found himself on the end of a perfectly served cross and ticked his one time volley into the side netting, leaving the keeper standing still as the play happened so quickly. No all leveled up at 2 a piece, the Diablos tuned up the intensity from there, and in spite of time wasting efforts, and some late challenges and tackles, the Diablos remained focused on their goal, creating opportunity after opportunity.
With just over 2 minutes on the game clock, Nick Taylor found himself all alone behind the defense after a well weighted through ball. Nick cooly feinted left before slipping in the go ahead goal in the 88th minute.
Joe Weber came up with a few late minute heroics to help preserve the win, and after just 2 games, the Diablos have found the back of the net 6 times, by 6 different players, illustrating their depth and goal scoring options.
With one assist and the game winning goal, Nick Taylor was selected as the East Side Man of the Match.
The Diablos are back in action on Friday May 24th as they hit the road to head to Laredo, Texas to battle the Laredo Heat in a game slated for an 8:30 pm kickoff. The Diablos will host an official Away Game Watching Party at Mulberry St Cantina, with festivities starting at 8, $2 Lonestars all night, and co-owner Damon Gochneaur in attendance, buying the first beer for anyone wearing Diablos gear!
Your Diablos will come back to Denton for their next home game, our Home Stadium Opener, this coming Sunday, May 26th at 7:00 pm at UNT Soccer Stadium. We’ll have $1 Lonestars all the way until kickoff, then $2 Lonestars during the game. Doors open at 6:00 with kickoff set for 7:00.
Tickets are still on sale now here: https://dentondiablos.com/tickets/