FORNEY — It was almost fitting that Robert E. Lee boys soccer ended its 2014 season in overtime.
The Red Raiders had played seven extra-session games already, three of those going to penalty kicks. Lee had won all three of its shootouts and was seven minutes away from going to another one against McKinney Boyd late Thursday night in their Class 5A area playoff.
It took two goals in a little less than two minutes to end that scenario and put REL out in a 2-0 loss at City Bank Stadium.
REL had held Boyd at bay for 92 minutes, nearly all of that playing into a gusting 25-plus mph wind.
In the second half of overtime, Lee’s defensive resolve finally was cracked.
“It’s frustrating to play that long, into the wind both halves, and a stiff wind at that,” REL coach Marty Germany said. “To take all of that work and effort and energy that we put into it and not come out with a victory.”
The goal was the first REL had surrendered for more than 230 minutes of play, taking into account a 2-1 overtime win over Rockwall and a scoreless bi-district draw with Rowlett that REL later won in penalty kicks.
“We get through those last seven minutes (in OT) and go to a shootout, we’re winning,” Germany said.
Storms around the area brought continual gusting winds. McKinney Boyd won the coin toss and took the wind in the first half.
REL knew if it could hold out for 40 minutes, Lee would get that 25-plus mile per hour wind at its back in the second half.
Broncos junior Hayden Uhl provided the first of several shots at Daniel Abarca’s goal in the first 40 minutes with the REL junior keeper up to challenge to either stop them or watch them go wide.
With Lee pinned back, goal kicks were frequent, but Abarca was also able to get enough on them to get them near midfield despite kicking into the wind.
It took 30 minutes for REL to fashion its first shot on goal and it almost surprised McKinney Boyd. Erick Vargas was able to get his head on a cross and the ball was heading goalward, but Boyd keeper Evan Davies dove to his right to make the save.
As the teams gathered up their bags to go into the locker room for halftime, they were informed it would be 30 minutes at least before they would attempt to play the second half, due to lightning.
Well, at least the wind would be with Lee when the game restarted.
Only it wasn’t.
After a near hour delay, the wind changed directions. REL would have to go against the wind in the second half too.
Despite that shock, REL won a free kick with Vargas’ long-range effort forcing Davies to punch away.
Abarca then got his hands to a header from Boyd. The Broncos were using a long throw-in with the wind to create even more chances, but could not break through against Lee.
Then with 4:30 remaining, Lee’s Collin Berry received the ball in the box in between a couple Boyd defenders. There was a scramble and Berry appeared to be pulled back.
Lee coaches and players protested for a penalty kick, but the referee waived it off and regulation ended scoreless.
The waiting game began again through more lightning and weather delays. Administrators were making plans to continue the game Friday, but at 10 minutes to 11 p.m., both teams were adamant about continuing.
The referee decided conditions had improved with the first half of overtime kicking off at 11:02 p.m.
With no wind to worry about for either team now, Lee’s Graham Thompson got behind the Boyd defense and took a shot at a bad angle that was caught by Davies.
In the final seconds, Lee was called for a handball. The referee stopped the clock at one second for Boyd to take a free kick. Connor Kennedy’s shot beat REL’s wall but was wide of Abarca’s goal.
The scoreless deadlock was broken in the second overtime.
Uhl was able to navigate through REL’s stubborn back line and got a perfect shot away on a bouncing ball that left Abarca no chance. Boyd then made it 2-0 30 seconds later with Hayden Brown doing the honors.
REL tried to come back, peppering Davies with shots in the final minutes, but couldn’t break through.
Lee says goodbye to 11 seniors, including co-captains Brett Howlett and Case Carnes.
“Our seniors have done a good job for four years,” Germany said. “It’s a good group of guys, who are quality guys and quality students. It’s tough to see them go.
“We lose a lot of quality, but we have a lot of good young guys coming back. Our object is going to be reload and get back here next year and win this game.”
Raider Rap: Lee seniors who played their final game were Henry Plancarte, Chandler Harrison, Jose Monsivais, Brett Howlett, Robert Arroyo, Case Carnes, Carlos Zavala, Graham Thompson, Erick Vargas, Jack McGeary and Omar Valtierra.