Arlington had experienced its share of good fortune on the way to Friday’s Class 5A Region I boys soccer semifinal, but it seemed to run out in the Colts’ 2-1 loss to Flower Mound Marcus at the Scharbauer Sports Complex in Midland.
Arlington found itself down a goal and a man after the first half, but rallied to level the score, only to concede the deciding goal with just 31 seconds remaining in the match.
“We had a good winning streak going, we had won nine in a row,” coach Jeff Waldrop said. “Our boys were confident, even with seeing what [Marcus] had.”
“We definitely weren’t taking an underdog frame of mind or anything like that. We wanted to be the aggressors and basically play the game that got us here to this point.”
Arlington (19-5-2) initially had trouble keeping possession in the offensive end, and Marcus (18-1-3) took the lead near the midpoint of the first half.
The play started on an offensive throw-in for the Marauders. Arlington headed the ball away, but it fell to Hank Steinhafel, who made one move before burying a shot from near the top of the 18-yard box.
Things then got worse for Arlington. About five minutes later, defender Brendan Conn was sent off for a dangerous tackle, forcing the Colts to play the remainder of the match with 10 men.
“It was a bit of a shell-shocked attitude [at halftime],” Waldrop said.
The Colts suffered another setback in the second half when leading scorer Reggie Gonzalez was knocked unconscious. Gonzalez hit his head on the ground following a hard tackle and took a few minutes to regain consciousness.
However, shortly after returning to play, Arlington won a penalty kick on a Marcus handball inside the box and converted to make the score 1-1.
“Tying it up, that showed a lot of guts and a lot of courage from our boys,” Waldrop said.
The game appeared to be headed for overtime, but Trace Marshall was the hero for the Marauders. His curling shot to the back post put Marcus ahead with just 31 seconds left.
“It was heartbreaking,” Waldrop said. “At that point, you’re so proud of your kids for getting to that point in the game.”