The Colony senior Victor Esquival-Ventura did a victory lap.
As soon as Esquival-Ventura kicked the goal that advanced the Cougar boys soccer team to the area round of the Class 5A playoffs for the first time since 2014, he sprinted toward The Colony fans that were in attendance at Hawk Stadium, ran back out on the field and continued his sprint until his teammates mobbed him near mid-field.
Not even playing 100 minutes of soccer and a subsequent shootout could lower his energy level after he booted home the deciding goal in Thursday’s 1-1 shootout win (4-2 in penalty kicks) in the bi-district round.
And, because of Esquival-Ventura, the season for The Colony and the high school career of its nine seniors will continue. The Cougars will
play RL Turner in the area round at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hawk Stadium. The Lions defeated South Oak Cliff, 1-0, Thursday.
“Honestly, I was really nervous,” Esquival-Ventura said. “But, seeing all of my friends up here, the whole city, I just wanted to do it for them.”
The Colony sophomore goalkeeper Bryan Carrillo, who watched from about 20 feet away, was the first teammate to greet Esquival-Ventura after the penalty kick. Esquival-Ventura was more than happy to see Carrillo.
Carrillo had his finger prints all over the shootout.
After being struck in the head on a shot by a Liberty player earlier in the second half, he played through the pain and then became a huge factor in the shootout. Although The Colony never trailed in the shootout, Carrillo made diving saves on Liberty’s Casen Craig Luke Enlow to keep the Cougars in the lead.
“In shootouts, I’ve always saved some shots,” Carrillo said. “But, once against McKinney North, it wasn’t really my time. But, here, I got the practice, we worked and that’s all that we needed.”
Senior Elijah Elias, sophomore Edwin Lopez and freshman Jacob Martinez also scored in the shootout for The Colony. Jonathan Siv and Ashton Schramek accounted for the two Redhawk goals.
It was the fifth time this season that The Colony had a game end in a shootout. Games in District 10-5A that are tied after regulation are decided on penalty kicks. Of those previous four games, the Cougars won just one of those contests.
Add a second victory to that list.
“I think it helped us, for sure,” said Lee Weddall, The Colony head coach. “We know that Bryan is going to give us one or two saves. All the other guys have to do is to get it in the net. He’s phenomenal, and they know that.”
Despite being the No. 4 seed out of District 9-5A, Liberty generated more of the scoring chances. The Redhawks used long passes and rushes up the field to create offense. But, Liberty was unable finish a shot until early in the second half.
That’s because The Colony scored the lone goal of the first half. It came on a set piece. A little less than 20 minutes into the match, Elias executed a free kick that landed on the foot of senior Franklin Corona. The first shot by Corona was saved, but the rebound bounced to his head and he directed the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 Cougar lead.
But, Liberty kept firing away.
Siv was one of those players who worked hard for a scoring chance. One of the balls that struck caromed off the inside of the crossbar. He wouldn’t be denied on his next chance. Five minutes into the second half, Siv launched a long-distance shot that carried underneath the crossbar, leveling the score at 1-1.
“(Liberty) is known as the hardest working team in that district,” Weddall said. “I’ve talked with all of the Frisco coaches. Those teams come out of it black and blue. Credit to their coach. They fight for him.”
With the score tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the two teams played two 10-minute overtimes, before Esquival-Ventura clinched the victory for the Cougars in the shootout.
The Colony’s game against RL Turner will be the second meeting of the season between the two squads. The Cougars and Lions played to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 8.