NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: West Texas FC looking to carry momentum into Brownsville

MIDLAND West Texas FC made the most of its long-awaited home opener last week by defeating Austin United 3-2 in National Premier Soccer League action.

Now the team heads back on the road to face defending Lone Star Conference champions Brownsville FC at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Brownsville Sports Park.

With last week’s home victory, the team now sits at 2-1 with six points in the conference standings.

HOME ATMOSPHERE: West Texas FC sent its supporters home happy in Saturday’s game at Astound Broadband Stadium.

“I think the biggest thing that stood out was how many people came out,” West Texas FC head coach David Ormiston said. “Fans showed up in good numbers and that gave a pretty positive energy to the boys. They were talking about it in the locker room and it was really special for them to have the kind of performance we did in front of everyone.”

West Texas had played its first two games on the road, defeating Lubbock 3-1 on May 18 before losing to Denton 3-1 on May 23.

“It was nice to be home,” Ormiston said. “It was a welcomed-break from the road trips. It’s something special to play in front of your home fans. It was good to be there. The fans showed up and it made for a good atmosphere and that helped us get a good result.”

THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: West Texas FC only needed four minutes to find the back of the net against Austin as defender Kareem Williams’ goal gave the hosts an early advantage.

“With Kareem, he’s got a high-pedigree,” Ormiston said. “He came from American Christian University which is the No. 1 NAIA school in the country. He was the captain and an All-American. He came in with high-expectations. He said he had more to give from the first two games and then we saw it from him during practice. He just kept working hard and was able to get his first start and got his first goal within five minutes and then put on a solid defense display. He proved why he has all of these accolades.”

West Texas doubled its lead when forward Olivier Correa scored in the 21st minute.

“Our captain Olivier Correa, he came in and has been a standout,” Ormiston said. “He had a good game. He scored and was a big part in making the other two goals happen.”

Austin United didn’t take long to respond, scoring in the 28th minute from Ethan Orozco’s goal.

Antoine Marques put West Texas ahead by two goals with his 56th minute strike and the team held off a late comeback attempt from Austin United to get its second win of the season.

“Marquez has been another guy with a huge pedigree,” Ormiston said. “He’s an all-conference guy. He’s a record goal-scorer … we’re very lucky to have these level of players.”

DEFENDING CHAMPS: Brownsville ended West Texas FC’s season last year in the conference tournament. That would go on to win the championship, defeating Lubbock 1-0.

Brownsville, which sits at 2-2 with six points and is coming off a 4-0 win against the Fort Worth Vaqueros last Saturday on the road.

Brownsville’s other win came in a 2-0 contest against Austin United on May 18.

“They’re always in the top two in the conference,” Ormiston said. “They’re a really technical team. They’re a really technical team. They’re hard-working. It’s going to be tough, especially at their place but I think we have a squad capable of dealing with those pressures and we’re going to be able to compete. Hopefully it’ll be a positive result for us.”