Two first-half goals stand up for Sterling soccer

Sterling boys soccer wanted to make a statement and they certainly did Monday against their rivals from Robert E. Lee.

Looking sharp and in shape from the starting whistle of their opening match for the season, the Rangers controlled the tempo and storyline for 80 minutes and two first-half goals held up in a 2-0 win.

The decisive goals came  from Rogelio Chavez (27th minute) and Oscar Rangel (40th minute) to push the Ganders to their second loss in two matches.

“All year we have been preaching that if we want to take the next step to reach the playoffs, we would have to improve our defense,” RSS head coach Archie Wright said. “We finally got a shutout with a much improved effort.  Offensive wise, we generated a lot of opportunities but we have to get better at finishing the opportunities we get.   

“Going forward, would like to see us finishing our opportunities better and continue strong defensive play.”

The Rangers could have scored much more in the first half but were denied by the posts and some near misses that went either inches wide or were parried away just before crossing the line.

REL evened the tone of the match after halftime, but were unable to find a finishing touch to threaten the back of the Sterling goal.

““It was an exciting match but there were not enough chances on our end,” REL head coach Jay Langlois said. “We had to replace six positions this year with players without any varsity experience, so we have struggled so far to play cohesively. However, there has been steady progress. 

“Sterling was sharp and probably the best team we have played so far. (Including preseason scrimmages).Conceding with less than a minute in the half is a problem.”

Sterling travels to the Clear Creek Tournament beginning Friday while the Ganders host Sharpstown 7:30 Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s area playoff that REL lost 3-1.

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