Riley Alvey Delivers in Lindale’s Third-Round Playoff Shootout Victory Over Pine Tree
LINDALE — Two teams that are no strangers to overtime needed 100 minutes of soccer and a shootout Friday to decide their Class 4A Region II boys sectional playoff.
Lindale and Pine Tree played to a scoreless tie through both overtime periods, which led to a shootout that saw Riley Alvey reject 3 of 4 Pine Tree attempts in a 0-0 (3-1) Lindale victory at Eagle Stadium.
Lindale (20-5-6) faces North Dallas in a 4A Region II quarterfinal tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday at Forney’s Citibank Stadium.
Lindale coach Jason Lawless said Friday’s match marked Lindale’s fourth shootout since district play started. Pine Tree (16-8-4) beat Mount Pleasant, which was undefeated and the defending Region II champion, in a second-round shootout last week.
Alvey, a senior starter who plays in the field, is Lindale’s designated shootout goalkeeper, Lawless said. He explained why Alvey thrives at stopping penalty kicks.
“We’ve (switched goalkeepers for shootouts) all year and we’ve only lost one PK deal,” Lawless said. “He’s just so quick and atlhetic and he reads them. He’s just good at it. That’s why I put him in there. Their keeper (Jared Jimenez) was good, too, though. He’s good. They beat Mount Pleasant with him and he blocked a bunch of them. I was a little worried going into (the shootout).”
Alvey started the shootout with a goal of his own, setting the stage for his in-goal heroics. He followed that up with a diving save of Pine Tree’s first shooter.
Jimenez matched Alvey’s stop with one of his own to allow teammate Juan Paz to tie the shootout 1-1 through two shooters. Jimenez again rejected a Lindale shooter, giving Pine Tree the opportunity for the shootout lead, but Alvey came up with his second save.
Lindale regained the shootout lead thanks to Nate Nichols’ goal. Alvey then supplied his third denial, and Davis Behee scored the match-ender for a 3-1 shootout triumph.
“We’re battle-tested,” Lawless said. “I don’t like (shootouts), but we’re good at them.”
Pine Tree garnered an 8-4 shots-on-goal advantage in regulation and tallied overtime’s only shot on goal. Jimenez made a spectacular save on a charging Jesse Emberley in the 67th minute to keep the contest tied 0-0. Emberley got loose on a breakaway, but Jimenez made a smothering point-blank save to stop the attack.
“We had a lot of opportunities. They played some long ball and tried to keep it down on our end and made us work harder to get the ball back down because we don’t play long ball very much,” Lawless said. “At the end (of regulation) I put Riley up top and we tried to get some deep balls and try not to run so much, but it worked out.”
Pine Tree had only three seniors on its roster, which coach Andre’ Lo was optimistic about after the match. Lo credited Lindale for its scouting, which he believed helped the Eagles and Alvey thwart four of the Pirates’ five shootout attempts since they had already seen PT in that situation against Mount Pleasant.