The Fort Worth Paschal boys soccer team defeated Arlington Martin for the first time in 20 years Tuesday night in a 1-0 victory.
Uriel Pacheco scored in the 10th minute and the Panthers made his goal stand up to thrust themselves back into the thick of the District 3-5A playoff race.
“This is how we played them last time; we scored early but couldn’t hang on and went to the shootout,” Paschal coach Mark Townsend said. “It was a huge game. This really helps us out.”
Paschal applied early pressure and it paid off. Pacheco latched on to a loose ball about 30 yards from the goal and unleashed a cannon shot that found the back of the net.
“It felt really good,” Pacheco said of his strike. “When I looked up at the goal I saw a big gap so I had to shoot it. The keeper was going to his right and he was losing his balance when I shot it.”
Pacheco has 23 goals and 17 assists on the season, which leads the team.
“For us it’s a big mental boost,” Townsend said. “You can see the guys, they’re pretty riled up for this.”
Entering the game, Paschal was in sixth place in the district standings with Martin in a tie for fourth. With the victory, Paschal (4-2-4 in District 3-5A, 16 points) leapfrogs the Warriors (3-3-4, 14 points), but the resulting logjam of teams means the district will likely come down to the final week.
Martin coach Brady Cagle knows his team is still in it.
“We really needed a big win tonight, but I told the guys it’s not over,” Cagle said. “We still have four big games left. I just told them we have to stick together and keep our heads up. It’s not over until the last game, we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
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