ARENA PRO SOCCER LEAGUE: Rumbleweeds fall to Wichita Falls

Spending the majority of the night playing catch up, the Rumbleweeds couldn’t quite overcome FC Wichita Falls, falling 13-8 Saturday at Ector County Coliseum in US Arena Pro Soccer League action.

It was the first meeting against each other this season.

“It was a disappointment,” West Texas head coach Danny Lopez said. “You always want to come out strong and get a win but then things started to fall apart defensively and that was definitely disappointing for sure.”

The Rumbleweeds (2-2 overall) fell behind early at 2-0 in the first quarter but managed to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead heading into the second quarter in a game that quickly turned into a back-and-forth battle.

 “Obviously, we’re glad to get the win so that we can go back to Wichita Falls with the right mindset,” Wichita Falls head coach Robert Swann said. “We were a little bit disappointed in the first half because it was a scrappy half for both teams.”

That scrappiness continued as West Texas took a 6-5 lead at the half on a goal by Adrian Perez with 2:25 left in the second quarter.

But FC Wichita Falls (2-3) answered in a big way, scoring five unanswered goals in the third quarter to take a 10-6 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Rumbleweeds started to find their rhythm again, scoring two quick goals to cut the deficit to 10-8 with less than 10 minutes remaining. West Texas, however, was unable to get any closer than that.

Joe Munoz had a shot that was blocked by Wichita Falls’ goalkeeper before Luis Olague had a shot that was blocked. A long shot by Andrew Carlile was saved and Jorge Carmona had a shot that went over the target.

Wichita Falls responded with three unanswered goals to stifle a potential comeback.

“I think the fourth quarter was difficult for both teams,” Swann said. “Both teams were in a situation where it’s hard to do well in. it’s a dangers lead to have at two goals. We told ourselves that we’re going to play a certain way when we’re up by two goals and five goals.

“It wasn’t perfect but we handled it well. Given the circumstances, we managed to play well.”

“It was certainly disappointing,” Lopez said. “What it came down to was mental mistakes, defensively. The fact that we were spending so much time down a player in the box took its toll on us, defensively and mentally as well. To be that close and then let it slip away was frustrating.”