Denton goes top with 3-0 thrashing of Azle


Photo by: Staff Photo

After tying Rider last week, Denton needed to do one thing in their next game against Azle.

“We’re just going to have to come out and win,” head coach Ryan Dunlevy said Friday. “That’s the only thing that we can do, is win.”

The Broncos got just that, coming away with a 3-0 win over the previously-undefeated Hornets at Bronco Field Tuesday night. The three points put Denton above Azle in the District 5-5A standings and into first place.

“We’re exactly where I think we should be,” Dunlevy said after the game.

The first 24 minutes of the game went by uneventfully, the closest either team got to a scoring opportunity coming in the 19th, when Azle senior Chris Medellin made a run into the Denton penalty area before having his shot forced well wide of the net by a pair of defenders. In the 24th Denton senior Chris Torres tracked down an off-target corner taken by senior Zach Ardis at the edge of the box, sending the ball back into the mixer, where it was flicked off of a head to the feet of senior Feliciano Amaya. Amaya buried the shot from 15 yards, putting the Broncos ahead.

The Broncos’ pressure intensified immediately in the second half, senior Jose Herrera coming close to doubling the lead with a shot well-parried by Azle junior keeper Austin McCash just four minutes in. In the 47th minute, Torres played a ball over the heads of a handful of Azle defenders, finding senior Zach Alspach. Despite the defensive pressure ten yards from the mouth of the goal, Alspach managed to get off a shot and beat McCash to put the Broncos up 2-0.

The three points were effectively sealed in the 72nd with a one-two combination between Amaya and Torres, the latter rocketing the ball into the top left corner of the net and making it 3-0.

Having scored just three goals combined against seventh-place Boswell and eighth-place Chisholm Trail in the opening two games of the district season, Denton has outscored their opponents 7-0 in the past three.

It’s finally started to click and that’s about what we needed,”

— Ryan DunLevy, head mens soccer coach

Amaya and Torres each had a goal and an assist on the night, and their combination play often led to more chances throughout. Amaya says that the chemistry he and Torres have is just natural.

“We grew up together,” Amaya said. “We played every single day. Every team I’ve been on, he’s been with me. We have a brother-like chemistry, and I think you can see on the field. I know where he is, he knows where I am all the time.”

Dunlevy thinks that the chemistry between Amaya and Torres is true for the rest of the team as well.

“They’re all playing as one, cohesive unit,” Dunlevy said. “It’s not just one person, not just one goalscorer. We have a multitude of goalscorers; we have a multitude of weapons; we play together. It’s not one person playing for them; it’s everyone playing for each other.”

The Hornets, who averaged 3.73 goals per game coming into the contest, were held to seven shots – just one, a long-distance attempt in the 64th minute that barely tested the keeper – the entire night.

“Defensively, [we] played great,” Dunlevy said. “I trust my defense completely. Everybody on our team trusts our defense, because we stay organized, we play simple soccer, we don’t try to get too confusing, and it’s been effective.”

Azle (12-1-0 overall, 4-1-0 in district play, 12 points), now in second place, travels to White Settlement to play Brewer on Friday. The Bears sit at 6-3-2 (1-3-1, 4 points) after a 7-0 demolition at the hands of Rider Tuesday.

Friday the Broncos (9-1-4, 4-0-1, 13 points) travel to Saginaw to play the 3-6-2 (2-3-1, 7 points) Rough Riders, who beat Chisholm Trail Tuesday. The two teams faced each other in the playoffs last year, Denton prevailing 2-0 on goals from Torres (15th minute, on a penalty) and Amaya (43rd minute).

“We’re at the top of the table,” Torres said. “Everyone wants to beat us.”