Arlington boys top Sam Houston before raucous crowd, advance

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Arlington’s first trip to the regional quarterfinals in 23 years turned into a ticket to the regional semifinal Tuesday night.

And a packed house was there to witness it.

The Colts, propelled by first-half goals from Cesar Garcia and Steven Chavez, held on in the waning moments for a 2-1 victory over rival Arlington Sam Houston at Cravens Field.

Arlington (19-4-2) advances to play Flower Mound Marcus, a 2-0 winner over Flower Mound, in a Class 5A Region I semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday at Midland's Scharbauer Complex.

The game was contested in front of a raucous crowd of at least 2,500.

“It’s like a dream,” Garcia said. “I always wanted to play in front of fans like this, but I never thought it would happen. As the game went on, the crowd just got bigger and bigger.”

Garcia’s rebound put-back in the 15th minute tied the score after Sam Houston jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

A crisp shot came right off Texans goalkeeper Leo Lujan, and Garcia said he flattened out more toward the ball for the easy chip-in.

“We were down after their first goal,” he said. “I really think it got us going though. We started to play more aggressive and kind of take control offensively.”

It was Chavez that ended up with the game-winner in the 25th minute.

The Colts worked the ball left, and Jack Wheeler was able to center a pass for the breaking midfielder.

Chavez sent a shot past Lujan for the lead.

Sam Houston (12-8-4) couldn’t get lucky in the second half, despite almost twice as many possessions.

Tony Guzman gave the Texans a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute when he put back a rebound off Mark Tachiri’s shot.

Juan Martinez had two shots on goal in the 74th and 76th minutes but couldn’t find the net.

“In 16 years of coaching soccer, I never thought I would see an atmosphere like this,” Arlington coach Jeff Waldrop said.

This is Arlington’s first regional semifinal appearance since a trip to the state tournament in 1991.

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