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Frustrating foe plays spoiler in defensive match

Frustrating foe plays spoiler in defensive match

Jesters force draw upon 1st-placed Laredo Heat

By Matthew Goricki
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Thursday, July 5, 2012 8:30 AM CDT


Even though the New Orleans Jesters are at the bottom of the Mid South Division, they have managed to give the first-place Laredo Heat problems every time they meet.

Wednesday night’s game was no exception as the Jesters played the Heat to another draw, 1-1, at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex.

Two weeks after the Jesters (2-5-7, 13 points) played Laredo (7-3-3, 24 points) to a 3-3 tie, New Orleans again refused to roll over and they went into the half with the game a scoreless tie.

“Their season is done,” Heat goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias said.

“Their one goal is to mess our season up. They sat back the whole game and waited for their one chance.”

New Orleans didn’t waste time before going on the attack in the opening minutes of the second half.

The attack paid off in the 51st minute when midfielder Tray Judice scored a rather unconventional goal.

Judice’s low shot from about 12 yards out went past Frias and bounced off the right post.

The ball then deflected off Frias’ face while he was on the ground and rolled slowly into the net.

Frias tried to get to the ball, but it was a bit quick for him from his place three yards off the line.

“It was real unlucky,” Frias said of the New Orleans goal.

“It hit the pole and hit my face. I was expecting the shot, but not the ball at my face.

If I would have saved it (initially) it wouldn’t have happened. It’s very disappointing.”

Laredo nearly knotted the score two minutes later when Daniel Garza’s shot from 15 yards out was blocked by jumping Jesters goalkeeper Dom Coleman.

Laredo’s aggressive offense finally paid off in the 63rd minute when marksman Juan de Dios Ibarra attempted a free kick from 35 yards out.

Ibarra, who is Laredo’s most dangerous player on free kicks, shot a hard ball from the left that found its way past everybody.

The ball took one bounce before angling past the helpless Coleman to tie the score at 1.

Three minutes later, Ibarra again attempted a free kick, this time from about 15 yards closer. Coleman easily made the save on a ball kicked directly at him.

Shortly later, New Orleans had a decent chance on goal when a crossing pass found attacker Calo Cruz, but Frias was able to get in the way and force the shot left of the net.

Ibarra had another chance at a free kick in the 71st minute, but, like the previous one, the shot was directed right at Coleman, who made the save.

In the 73rd minute, midfielder Luis De La Vega unleashed a shot to the left side of the net that was saved by a diving Coleman.

New Orleans plays the Heat again on Friday in Laredo’s home finale.

“This was not our best game,” Frias said. “We have to play better.”