Pine Tree Boys Edge Lindale In Penalty Kicks After 0-0 Playoff Draw
TYLER -- Goalkeeper Justin Groves kept Lindale standing toe-to-toe with Pine Tree through 100 minutes of game time Thursday at Tyler Junior College's Pat Hartley Complex.
Groves made nine saves and shut down seven realistic scoring opportunities to help District 16-5A's fourth seed force a 0-0 draw with the first seed from District 15-5A in the bi-district round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
In penalty kicks, however, the Pirates overcame a missed first shot to down the Eagles 5-4 in six rounds and advanced to the area round, somewhat putting a first-round loss in penalty kicks last season against Jacksonville to rest.
"To me, we don't look back," Pine Tree head coach Andre Lo said. "We go forward. Every game, there's a lesson to learn. Learning from that experience and coming back. I'm glad we got a second chance, but I couldn't help but admire our seniors taking initiative and refusing to lose. That's a valuable lesson that tells a kid's character."
Penalty kicks -- the decisive tiebreaker process after 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute halves of non-sudden death overtime -- are scheduled for five rounds. The team that records the most goals through the stretch wins.
The scenario is similar to baseball innings with a top and a bottom half. A team gets one shot in each round and its goalkeeper defends the opposing team's shot.
If the two sides are tied through five rounds, single extra rounds are added until one team finishes with a lead.
The Pirates opened penalty kicks with a shot that sailed wide left of the goal.
That allowed Lindale, which made its first three shots, to build a one-goal cushion through three rounds of penalty kicks. Pine Tree knocked in its second and third attempts for a 3-2 deficit.
After Adrian Martinez scored in the top of the fourth round for a 3-3 score, an Eagles shot off the crossbar put the Pirates in position to come back. From there, Luke Yoder scored in the top of the fifth round to pin Lindale into its own high pressure situation.
David Franke scored an Eagles equalizer in the bottom of the fifth round to force extra rounds, tied 4-4.
In the sixth round, Allan Maceda scored for Pine Tree and forced Lindale to immediately answer the goal. Pirates special goalkeeper Alejandro Castillo made a toe drag save against the Eagles sixth shooter for the win.
"Lindale is a worthy opponent," Lo said. "They kept themselves in the game and played real hard. They had several opportunities on the counter (during game play). We've got to prepare (better) for that."
The two sides played somewhat evenly through the game's first half.
Pine Tree outshot the Eagles 12-1 in the second half with five of its shots requiring stops. Groves made two one-handed saves, a kick save and was bailed out by his left goalpost once during the onslaught.
The Pirates put up two shots in the first half of extra time. Lindale didn't create a single chance to score.
Things changed in the second half of overtime. The Eagles nearly scored from close range with 3:56 to play before freshman forward Sam Cox's promising run into scoring position was broken up by Pine Tree sweeper Brennan Alley in the game's absolute final seconds.
Through 100 minutes, Pine Tree outshot Lindale 23-5. Starting Pirates goalkeeper David Rivera only had to make two saves before giving way to Castillo for penalty kicks.
Pine Tree will face the winner of a bi-district playoff game between Mansfield Summit and Dallas Samuel in the next round.
There will be no midweek playoff games next week due to the state-mandated STAAR tests.
"I think, ultimately, it's hats off to the players," Lo said. "The seniors refuse to lose. And that makes this game happen. They made it happen."