Boys’ soccer opens playoffs with win over Round Rock

Second-half scoring lifts Chaps over Dragons
Mia Fillpot
The Varsity boys’ soccer team poses for a photo following its 2-0 win over Round Rock in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday, March 26 at Chaparral Stadium. Two second-half goals and a shutout performance defensively led the Chaps to victory.

A deflected pass into the box fell at the feet of Christian Mezas. The senior forward blasted a right-footed shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net. 

Ten minutes later, Mezas found himself with the ball in the box again. He received a through ball from attacking midfielder junior Logan Thomson, faked a shot and finished with his right foot into the bottom left corner of the goal. 

After 60 minutes of scoreless playoff soccer, the Chaps finally found their breakthrough via Mezas.

“It’s a feeling really like no other,” Mezas said. “It’s something you dream about, scoring the winner, especially scoring two, and even getting close to three. It’s something every soccer player dreams about, getting the buzzer beater, getting the last shot, scoring the winning goal, especially when it matters.” 

Mezas’ brace and a stellar defensive performance guided the Chaps (17-3-3) to a 2-0 win over Round Rock (13-7-3) in the bi-district round of the UIL 6A Boys’ Soccer Championship at Chaparral Stadium Tuesday night. Despite scoring in the first half of each of their last six wins, the Chaps saved their stellar attacking play for the second half on Tuesday. The Chaps tallied both goals and had numerous big chances in the latter half.  

“[After the half], we picked up the intensity for sure,” boys’ varsity head coach Evan Foxworth said. “I think you kind of feel each other out for a big part of the first half. They played us tough. That’s one of the most physical teams that we’ve played all year, but I think our conditioning and our intensity took over in the second half. I think that’s what made the difference.”

Both teams struggled to get clean shots off in the first half. The Chaps’ best chance came with ten minutes remaining in the half. Round Rock goalkeeper junior Cole Chuchmach pushed a long shot from attacking midfielder senior William Fagerberg narrowly past the post. The Chaps’ defense shined throughout the half, but the attack struggled to capitalize on its opportunities. 

“Truth be told, we were just a little bit lazy in the first half,” Mezas said. “We were kind of waiting for something to happen, but I knew that we can’t play like that. We’ve got to make something happen. In the second half, we came out, we changed it up, I got on the end of a couple of through balls that I missed in the first half. Just overall, we were more confident to go get the ball and get something done.” 

Forward senior Christian Mezas celebrates a goal with teammates in the second half of the Chaps’ 2-0 playoff win over Round Rock Tuesday, March 26 at Chaparral Stadium. Mezas scored twice, leading the Chaps to the victory. (Drake Dickey)

The intensity quickly ratcheted up a notch in the second half, and 10 minutes in, Mezas finally broke through. The Chaps kept their foot on the gas pedal for the entire half, and never allowed the Dragons to get into a rhythm on either side of the ball. 

Following the two goals early in the half, the Chaps had numerous chances to score a third. The Chaps fired three solid shots on goal, but timely goalkeeping in the Round Rock net held the Chaps to just two. The defensive effort on the other side was just as sharp. Goalkeeper sophomore Tobin Nguyen shut down any Round Rock attack, notching the Chaps 15 clean sheet of the season. 

“These guys have stepped up when it counted all year,” Foxworth said. “Now it was no different. We needed a win against a really good first round opponent, and we got it. I’m proud of the way they played and the way they’ve stepped up all year.”

Stepping up in key moments has been a major part of this Chaparral squad’s success all season; despite injuries and uncertainty in the squad, especially in the defense, the Chaps have adapted to the adversity and thrived under pressure. 

“We’ve had an interesting defensive rotation,” Foxworth said. “We had our starting senior captain center back go down, and we had a young sophomore come up from the JV team who’s stepped up. We’ve just had guys rotating in and out of those roles, and every single one of them just keeps getting better and better.”

The Chaps will gear up for a second round matchup with San Antonio Madison (13-8-1) on Thursday March 28 at Rattler Stadium in San Marcos. The Mavericks finished the regular season on a two-game losing streak, but eked out a 1-0 victory in extra time over Clemens to advance past the bi-district round.  

“I hope to be playing for a couple more weeks,” Foxworth said. “I hope we come out with the same intensity, and I hope that we play the same soccer we did tonight. We’re gonna be hard to beat.”

Forward senior Christia Mezas chases after a pass in the second half of the Chaps’ 2-0 playoff victory over Round Rock Tuesday, March 26 at Chaparral Stadium. The Chaps face San Antonio Madison in the second round Thursday.
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