The Aztecs defeat Lindsay 2-0 to solidify their spot at the top of the ESL. They’ll now play Woodlake to determine if they’ll have to share the trophy with the Tigers
FARMERSVILLE – With one game left in the regular season, the Aztecs have done enough to at least earn a portion of the league title. They have a one game lead on Woodlake and those two teams will battle in the final game at Farmersville today, Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m.
The Aztecs ended the last two seasons tied for second in their league. This year they’ll hope to maintain sole possession of first place. They moved one step closer to that goal with a win over Lindsay on Monday. They’ll have a favorable home-field advantage against the Tigers as they haven’t lost a game there since 2018.
The Aztecs have an 8-3 record in the ESL. Two of those losses were a 5-3 game against Lindsay and 4-3 against Woodlake. The 2-0 win in the second leg of the Champions Cup against the Cardinals means that the two teams tied 5-5 in the season series. This is the second year in a row that the series has ended in a tie and the trophy doesn’t change hands as a result. The Cardinals have had the championship since 2015.
As a former coach at Lindsay, Farmersville head coach Michael Jordan had nothing but positive things to say about the Cardinals’ squad and compared the rivalry to the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics rivalry from the 1980s in the sense that the home team always has a great advantage.
“Whoever is at home has the best chance to win. When we go to their place then they play at another level…everything about their game goes up. But I think the same goes for us,” Jordan said. “Lindsay is a great team, it’s an honor to play against them because their coach does such a great job with them. They’ve dominated this league and they’ve earned it.”
Early in Monday’s matchup, the Cardinals showed why they’ve dominated this rivalry in recent years. Their defense made is tough for the Aztecs to dribble and penetrate. Their offense was set up with great opportunities to score, but the Farmersville defense also left their mark on the game. In the 34th minute, Lindsay caught the goalie out of position and nearly scored but an Aztec defender came in to save the day. Neither team scored in the first half.
In the 47th minute, Farmersville threw the ball into the box from the corner and a player came in with the header to put them up 1-0.
Aztec sophomore striker Angel Castellanos missed out on several goals throughout the night. He was either too soft with his shot or was off with his timing. Particularly in the second half he had several opportunities to ice the game for his team. In the final two minutes of regulation with the Cardinals in desperation mode, he had a moment he’ll likely remember for the rest of his career. He had control of the ball and went one on one with the goalie but this time the shot was perfect. The stadium erupted.
“Honestly, I was pretty nervous. I had the goal right in my face and I couldn’t miss that one,” he said. “It was a great feeling to have everyone in the stadium cheering for you, it felt really good.”