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October 23, 2011

The UHD men's soccer club team saved its best game of the season for the conference final in trouncing the upstart Lone Star College-Tomball Timberwolves 7-1 Sunday before a capacity crowd at the Gators' home away from home, Bayland Park. The Gators opened the scoring in the 10th minute on a nice give and go between Octavio Mena and Cesar Arellano with Mena beating the Timberwolves keeper. The roles were reversed five minutes later when Arellano brought down the ball in the box off a Mena free kick then spun around and beat the keeper to make it 2-0. The underdog Timberwolves then got their bearings and began to get more of the ball possession. Their effort paid off with a goal by Derrick Labrada in the 24th minute to trim the lead to 2-1 where it remained until halftime. The lead remained the same for the first fourteen minutes of the second half.


Although the score was tight, the Gators were beginning to apply more and more pressure. The Gators scored off an own goal in the 59th minute when a Tomball defender attempted to clear a ball after a corner kick but instead put it past his own keeper to make the score 3-1. The wheels came off after that for the Timberwolves. UHD's depth and team speed began to wear down Tomball. Gator Jose Gutierrez scored a goal in the 67th minute off a left footed volley. Next, Roger Arteaga put in a beautiful header off a Mena cross in the 83rd minute. Gutierrez scored his second goal in the 89th minute, his fifth goal of the conference tournament. Phillip Chikwe scored the seventh and final Gator goal. The match was without a doubt, a total team victory for UHD. Gators Manny Flores, Kelvin Rodriguez, Michael Diaz and Johnny Hernandez controlled the midfield while defenders Nathan Marin, Ruben Acosta, Jonathan Segovia and Sebastian Mireles played lock-down defense, leaving keeper Carlos Cruz relatively unbusy. The Gator bench, too numerous to name here, played a pivotal role in wearing down Tomball.


The Gator performance put an exclamation point on an extraordinary season. The seven goals were the most ever scored in HCSC tournament history. The team finished the HCSC season at 7-0 and with a twenty-four conference game unbeaten streak that dates back to 2008. UHD has won the last four HCSC titles, another record. This year's team is probably the best yet with excellent two-player team depth at every position along with great team speed all over the field. UHD now advances to the NIRSA Regional at UT-Dallas in Richardson on October 28-30. CONGRATULATIONS GATORS!!!



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Last updated or reviewed on 10/27/11

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