Boys’ soccer to compete in round three of playoffs

Fighting Farmers to face Irving Nimitz Vikings tonight at 7:30


Anthony Herrera

Senior varsity player Abraham Escamilla (3) looks to shoot for a goal during the Byron Nelson game on Friday, March 3.

In the second round of boys’ soccer playoffs the Fighting Farmers [15-6-2 overall, 9-4-1 district 5-6A] eliminated the Panthers from Duncanville [19-2-2 overall, 13-0-1 district 7-6A] with a 1-0 win last Friday in Euless.

The team is coming off an important win last week and will look to carry its success into tonight’s match against Irving Nimitz [9-11-2 overall, 5-6-2 district 7-6A] at Irving ISD Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Head coach Brandon McCallum has high praises for the back line as it has been solid throughout the season including playoffs. Goalkeeper Angel Santana has kept 13 shutouts throughout the year and has only received 14 goals against. His solidarity was proven in the last two games against nationally ranked teams.

“We defended really well the last game,” McCallum said. “Carlos Galvan, Jonathan Lara and Brandon Barrows are the three main guys in the back and have a handful on everything. Angel has had an outstanding season. He has kept two playoff shutouts for us so far.”

The goal on Friday night came off a set piece, halfway into the second half. Coach McCallum has been using every practice session before tonight’s game to work on what is needed to improve from the last game. Whether it’s game schemes, tactical play or even fundamentals, every practice is critical in playoffs.

“Coach has talked to us about having more discipline,” junior midfielder Josue Romo said. “It wasn’t at its best at the beginning of the season, but now it has been better. Set pieces are a big part of our scheme. We weren’t the best at them but we’ve worked on them a lot and now the results are finally showing.”

The team played Irving Nimitz in the preseason this year, which ended in a 1-1 tie. In Nimitz’ last game, the team defeated bi-district champion Allen 4-1 in the previous round.

“I expect it to be a tough game,” senior defender Carlos Galvan said. “They are a good team. We’ve improved a lot since then and I’m sure [Irving Nimitz] has as well.”

McCallum has had time to study the opponents for tonight. He hopes for a well-fought match and a result that should see the team move on.

“[Irving Nimitz players] like to play out of the back and build up the play forward,” McCallum said. “We did pressure drills so we can contain their attacks. We are also working on our possession game to keep the ball most and also on our shooting game.”

While the original goal of making playoffs has happened, the next goal is to take it game by game to make it to state.

“The game’s very important at this stage,” senior defender Julio Gomez said. “We’re one game away from going to regionals which is the top four of the area. We’re taking it a step at a time.”