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Worth the wait; Escovar, Heat defeat Aztex in opener

Alberto Escobar scores past Aztex defenders
Alberto Escobar scores past Aztex defenders

May 8, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009 (Laredo, TX):

The Heat were finally able to hit the pitch and get the 2009 Premier Development League Regular Season started with a convincing 3 – 1 win over the visiting Austin Aztex U-23’s on Thursday, May 7th at the Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Soccer Complex. The match saw the anticipation and intensity of a first match of a season with 1,545 Heat soccer savvy and screaming fans in attendance.

Both teams played fairly evenly to start the game and both looked as they were struggling with the intense 100 degree weather and trying to find their pace at the start of a new season.

Two new members to the Heat roster this season played huge roles in the victory over the Capital City team. Former TAMIU standout Alberto “Chiti” Escovar scored the first two goals of the game and current TAMIU defender, Soamy Bautista scored the third and final goal of the game for the Heat.

Escovar first goal came in the 33rd minute of play when he took a well placed center pass from midfielder Greg Mulamba after Mulamba had stolen the ball deep in the right side of the area.

At the 43rd minute, Escovar once again found the back of the net with the help of Juan de Dios Ibarra who centered a pass into the box.

What looked as a 2 – 0 lead for the Heat at halftime soon became less realistic because Aztex defender Jamie Cunningham knocked in a corner kick past Heat net-minder Ryan Cooper in the waning seconds of compensation time for the first half.

The second half of the game was played at what seemed a slower pace as the Laredo heat, no pun intended, took its toll on both sides.

It wasn’t until minute 67 that Bautista dove for a header that had come off the hands of Aztex goalkeeper Brandon Kirksey and bounced to Raul Quiñones feet. Quiñones then flicked a quick pass to Bautista who was very opportunistic in getting the ball past Kirksey.

“The reason behind the two goals was the effort put forth by the entire team. It’s teamwork and once the ball comes to me, I do my job”, mentioned an exhausted Escovar after the match.

“Chiti and Soamy both well and the solid play of the other nine players plus the substitutes coming off the bench gave us a good start to the season plus three points in the standings and not to mention, a win in qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup”, said Heat General Manager J.J. Vela.

Concluded Vela, “I would also like to mention that Ryan Cooper had a stellar game between the posts. When he stopped Willy Guadarrama’s shot attempt which would have tied the game at two, it really lifted his teammates and fans”.

The Heat will be heading out of town next week to take on the West Texas United Sockers in Midland on Friday, May 15th and well known rival, the El Paso Patriots, on Saturday, May 16th. Only the match versus the Sockers will be considered an Open Cup Qualifying Match.

For additional information on the Laredo Heat Soccer Club, please visit our website at www.laredoheatsc.com or call the Heat office at 723 – 4700.