COLLEGE SOCCER: Falcons get first Lone Star Conference win in overtime

Tensions were high in the UTPB men’s soccer team’s overtime victory against Texas A&M International Wednesday.

After holding an early lead, the Falcons found the back of the net on Victor Machado’s curling effort in the 96th minute to take a 2-1 victory at Falcon Field.

UTPB head coach Dennis Peterson said he has worked with his team on holding momentum after taking a lead.

In seven of their eight matches, the Falcons lost after holding a lead or being tied at halftime.

“These last two days of practice, we just hammered it in,” Peterson said. “We were able to do that, we didn’t plan on going into overtime but we still pulled out the win.”

It was UTPB’s first Lone Star Conference win of the season.

The Falcons were able to get on the board in the 18th minute when Matias Pereira scored to put them up 1-0.

Pereira tapped in a low cross from Felipe Souza, who used a burst of speed to beat the last defender to get near the back line.

UTPB (2-8-2 overall, 1-1 conference) had multiple chances to increase its lead later in the first half, and at different points in the second, but had no luck in finishing.

Some of those shots came dangerously close, like a direct free kick from Gustavo Barroso that bounced off the crossbar in the 30th minute.

Goalkeeper Alfonso Aragon played a key role in helping the Falcons maintain their lead, with a tough diving save late in the second half.

The Dustdevils (4-6-1, 1-1) would find a way to get the ball past Aragon on a corner kick in the 87th minute with a header from Dylan Krufal to tie it up at 1-1.

Aragon felt that his team was unlucky in the tying score, as players bunched up inside the 18-yard box.

“It’s never easy because the adrenaline just comes to you,” Aragon said. “You have to keep your mind focused on the game.”

On tired legs, both teams kept fighting their way toward each other’s goals until the Falcons struck gold.

Just as he was about to be substituted out, Machado dribbled the ball toward the Texas A&M International goal and unleashed a deep shot that beat the goalkeeper for the victory.

“It’s amazing how everyone worked today and I think we deserved to win at the end of the day,” Aragon said.

>>Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya