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Heat can't find the net

Heat can't find the net

Ball just won't go in

By Zach Smith
Laredo Morning Times

For the first time in franchise history, the Heat are not going to the playoffs.

Laredo suffered a 1-0 loss at home Friday night to  Midland  after a  first half goal on a penalty kick. Laredo outshot Midland  24-5  and  was  all  out on  the ttack in the second half while the Sockers sat back and didn’t attempt  a  shot  in  the  final 45  minutes.

The loss means the Heat will finish outside the  top two in the conference — and miss the playoffs — after a full-length season for the first time in the franchise history.

With midfielder Leon Taylor suspended due to a red card, Yair Hernandez, who has been a staple in central defense all season, moved to midfield. Alex Mullet, listed as a defender on the official team website, got the start at forward. It took just two minutes for Midland midfielder Chuy Cortes to get fouled.

Cortes scored a goal and had a  team-high two assists  in  eight games with Laredo this season before joining the Sockers in hopes  of  making  the  playoffs.

Laredo outshot the Sockers 6-5 in the first half and forced Midland goalkeeper Nicolas Corti to make three saves. The best chance of the half came when Frank Lara hit a shot from just outside  the box towards the upper  half  of  the goal before Corti swatted it away.

The Heat were patient a series   of short passes to work their way into the Sockers’ attacking third instead    of kicking long balls  up over the top. Forward Kean Lewis put in four crosses from the right side, but nobody was there to put them away.

In the 34th minute, Cortes got past the Heat back line and was one-on-one with Jorge Ortega but his  shot  bend  wide  right.

Less thanfive minutes later, the ref called a hand ball off a Midland corner.

Ortega guessed the wrong way and Danny Riley gave Midland a one-goal lead.

That patience switched to frustration in the second  half.

The Heat peppered the net all half outshooting the Sockers 18-0, but with each aggressive attack the crowd became more rest less and the situation grew even more dire.

Lewis and forward Dan Johns combined a couple times early in the half.
They both had shots blocked inside the penalty area 10 minutes in. Lewis put in a perfect cross from the   right that found an open Johns in front of the net  and  he poked the ball just  wide.

Fransisco Lara let loose a left-footed rocket from just outside the penalty a rea that went just over the crossbar. Miguel Alvarado followed that up with a bicycle kick just in front of the goal that again went just high.

Lewis shot from the top of  the box with less than two minutes to go and saw his shot bounce off the Midland keeper’s chest.

Johns’ second quick shot didn’t have enough power to get into the net.

Laredo hosts the Houston Dutch Lions Tuesday night before the season finale next Thursday night against the  Sockers.
Follow @Zach_Smith_on Twitter for the latest updates on the Heat and other local sports.

Email: ZSmith@LMTOnline.com