NACOGDOCHES — Jacksonville High School head boys soccer coach said that he liked his team's changes prior to the start of the district-opening match Friday night at Dragon Stadium on the Nacogdoches high School campus.
He gave several reasons for his convictions, but he also added that you never know how student-athletes — teenagers — will respond on any given night, in any sport.
After several early scoring chances failed to get the Indians on the score board, Nacogdoches got its offensive cranked and at the end of the cold, and rainy evening, it was the Dragons who had earned a 3-1 win over Jacksonville.
Nacogdoches got on the board first with 20:38 left in the first half when a Dragon manged to get the ball past Tribe keeper, Octavio Torres, who had given up just one goal all season, entering play Friday.
That was all of the scoring in the first half, with the Dragons maintaining the momentum in the final period by adding a pair of goals.
Jacksonville's Martin Melchor, who signed last week with Coastal Carolina University (NCAA, Division I), prevented a Dragon shutout, when he booted in a goal from short range late in the second half.
Nacogdoches seemed to be the more aggressive team and seemed to have fed off of drawing first blood.
Trailing 1-0 with 2:36 to go in the first half, the Indians' Alberto Escareno received back-to-back yellow cards which made him ineligible for the rest of the game and forced, by rule, the Tribe to play a man down the rest of the match, which certainly didn't help Jacksonville's chances at coming back on the talented home team.
The Dragons had 22 shots on goal to 13 by the Indians.
Torres made 13 saves in goal during the match.
The Tribe JV squad polished off Nacogdoches, 3-1.
Jacksonville (10-4-3, 0-1) will return to the Tomato Bowl Tuesday for a 7 p.m. match against Diboll.