Jumior forward Marco Ramirez broke a scoreless game in the second half and Granbury survived a late flurry from Mansfield Lake Ridge to win 2-0 in the Class 4A sectional round Friday at Clark Stadium
Granbury (20-3-5) meets Wichita Falls Rider in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday.
Granbury, unbeaten since January, advanced thanks to Ramirez’s quick shot into the back of the net in the 53rd minute to put the Pirates up 1-0. Ramirez received an almost perfect pass from freshman Freddy Espinoza and found himself one-on-one with the keeper, behind the Lake Ridge defense.
“I knew with that chance I had to finish and keep going hard,” Ramirez said.
Less than eight minutes latter, Lake Ridge junior midfielder Juan Correa received his second yellow card of the match and was sent off with a red card. That didn’t stop the Eagles, who staged a furious rally to try to send the game into overtime.
The Eagles (10-7-6) came close a few times, but the Pirates’ defense did just enough to secure the shutout. It’s Granbury’s 14th shutout this season, one away from tying a school record.
“You’re still nervous because you know they [Lake Ridge] have to step up their game,” Granbury coach Doug Kissinger said. “Our guys stayed mentally involved in the game and we didn’t let down and we continued to battle.”
Lake Ridge’s rally with a man disadvantage eventually faded. After Granbury cleared a Lake Ridge cross, Ramirez found open field and slotted a through ball right at the feet of sophomore Jacob Dyson. Dyson placed the ball in the left side of the goal and in the back of the net to give Granbury a commanding 2-0 lead with nine minutes left in the game.
“Their team was definitely tired and their guy on the outside left me,” Ramirez said. “At that point I was wide open and all I had to do was finish the shot.”
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