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Denton advances to second round with 4-1 win over Carter-Riverside

Varsity+Offender%2C+Zach+Alspach+%2819%29+attempts+to+fight+an+Eagle+defender+to+gain+control+of+the+ball.
Varsity Offender, Zach Alspach (19) attempts to fight an Eagle defender to gain control of the ball.

Varsity Offender, Zach Alspach (19) attempts to fight an Eagle defender to gain control of the ball.

Photo by: Chandler Elsbecker

Photo by: Chandler Elsbecker

Varsity Offender, Zach Alspach (19) attempts to fight an Eagle defender to gain control of the ball.

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After a longer break between games than normal, Denton overcame a slow start against Carter-Riverside to come away 4-1 victors at Northwest ISD Stadium Friday night. The Bi-district win propels the Broncos to the Area round for the second consecutive year.

Though the Broncos produced a scoring chance early on, when senior Feliciano Amaya got some space alone but blasted the ball over the frame, they were on the defensive for lengthy stretches of the first half. Though none of the Eagles’ advances resulted in a goal, they knocked on the door with five free kicks, five crosses, and a shot on goal. Further adding to the Broncos’ struggles, three times, they had plays called back for offside.

“We came out and played a little different style the first 15 to 20 minutes,” head coach Ryan Dunlevy said. “We had to kind of adjust after that, and after we adjusted, those offside calls went away.”

In the 26th minute the Broncos’ counterattack broke the deadlock. Amaya, through the defense on a long ball, tried to find room to shoot, but the defenders caught up to him. Meanwhile, senior Chris Torres charged into the area, staying onside. Amaya floated the ball to his teammate, who chipped it over the keeper to put Denton ahead.

Just before halftime, Amaya was again on the ball in the Carter-Riverside penalty area, but Eagles junior Alexis Flores came in strong for the tackle. However, Flores missed the ball and instead got Amaya’s ankles, bringing the Denton forward to the ground. The referee did not show the card, but did point to the penalty spot. Torres buried the penalty shot, giving the Broncos a 2-0 lead going into the dressing rooms.

The Broncos’ kept their foot on the gas to open the second half, immediately earning three consecutive corners. Senior Zach Alspach got his head on each of them, but only the third, which flew over the crossbar, was not tipped out of bounds by an interfering Eagle. In the 46th minute, Torres narrowly missed the hat trick, when Amaya again burst through the Eagles’ line and dished the ball back to him as he entered the area, but he whiffed.

Alspach, later added a pair of goals to his ledger. In the 62nd minute, junior Wes Kohler crossed the ball into the box for Alspach, who drilled it into the far left corner. When Carter-Riverside got a goal back three minutes later, in the 76th Alspach negated it by heading in the looping delivery of Torres off of a free kick, cementing the 4-1 victory.

We might have come into this game a bit cocky, underestimating their team, but we adjusted quickly, and the result shows that.”

— Senior Zach Alspach

The slow start to the game, Dunlevy said, was in part due to a poor week of practice leading up to the game, which Alspach corroborated.

“We didn’t have the best week of practice,” Alspach said. “We might have come into this game a bit cocky, underestimating their team, but we adjusted quickly, and the result shows that.”

Throughout the night, the agitated voice of Dunlevy echoed throughout the stadium as he voiced his displeasure with the officials, earning a talking-to late in the second half.

“They make their decisions based on what they see,” Dunlevy said. “I’m probably always going to disagree with the referee, and I’m going to let him know when I disagree. He didn’t cause anything bad to happen; we just have to adjust and learn to put our opportunities a way the referee is irrelevant.”

Denton (17-2-4) plays Granbury next Friday at 6 p.m. at Chisholm Trail High School. The Pirates finished second in District 8-5A after going 12-3-1 in the regular season. Granbury comes off of a 2-0 win over Wyatt Thursday in their Bi-district game at Farrington Field in Fort Worth.

“I watched them play one game,” Dunlevy said. “I don’t know much past that one game. We’re going to have to try and adjust, because they play a bit different than that team [Carter-Riverside], and that’s the name of the game in the playoffs: adjusting to the opponent and executing on our opportunities.”

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Student News Site of Denton High School in Denton, Texas