Summer doesn’t officially start for a few more days, but summer is in full swing, with temperatures starting to rise, and the hot dry winds from the South starting to blow like a hair dryer over the plains of North Texas.
Befitting of the days weather, the Diablos found themselves facing the Laredo heat for the second time of the season. Coming off the recent inaugural road trip to Laredo, the Diablos knew they would be in for a tough game, expecting Laredo to come out with a chip on their shoulder after their recent home loss, a 2-1 Diablos win in Laredo.
In front of a home crowd of just over 500 people, the Diablos wasted no time in establishing early dominance and control of the game, owning a significant possession advantage. But not to be denied, Laredo made the most of their only first half chance when a quick counter attack found their lone striker with the ball inside the box, and from a tough angle, Jeremiah Egujie slipped in the opening goal of the game, giving Laredo the early 1-0 advantage in the 11th minute.
Early goals can often be a demoralizer for young teams, but to their credit, this Diablos team, with an average starting age of 22.25, was resilient and steadfast in their approach and effort. In spite of the stifling heat, the Diablos turned things up a notch, displaying their trademark high pressure the entire length of the pitch, leading to numerous first half chances.
In the 30th minute, Sam Garza found himself over a dead ball just on the edge of the 18th. After discussing with Nickey Hernandez, Sam slammed his curving set piece off the crossbar, narrowly missing the equalizer goal, and after some headers and volleys by Nicky Hernandez and Mark Salas, Martin Salas was finally able to steer his header towards Julian Barajas, who found himself with time and space in the box and slipped in the volley for the equalizing goal.
The Diablos weren’t satisfied with the equalizer, and kept up the high pressure, watching their efforts finally pay off in the 41st minute when James Doyle found himself with time and space in the middle of the pitch, lofting a well struck ball into space for our captain, Sam Garza, who collected, drove to the touchline and beat the Laredo keeper from his own tough angle, giving the Diablos to 2-1 lead moments before halftime.
After retiring to the locker room for some much needed A/C, water and words of wisdom from Coach Rakestraw, the Diablos came out in the second half and kept the intensity and pressure high. The second half saw the game start to open up, with both teams watching multiple scoring opportunities slip through their fingers with Diablos goal keeper Joe Weber coming up with multiple huge saves in one on one situations, and a kick save off the goal line from point blank range.
Finally, in the 75th minute, Brandon Terwege found himself a step ahead of his defender, finishing off the Daniel Evans cross and giving the Diablos the 3-1 lead on the game.
The win is good for the Diablos seventh on the season, at 7-2-0 and good for the most points in the conference, with 3 games to play.
With some nicks and bruises, the bye week comes at an opportune time for the Diablos. Our next game is on the road June 27th vs Katy 1895 in Conroe, Texas, before we come back to Denton two weeks from now on Saturday June 29th at 7:00 PM in our final regular season home game in our historic opening season!
Tickets are on sale now: dentondiablos.com/tickets