ANNA — Anna’s Coyotes scrapped to three wins in their four matches at the annual Highway 5 Showcase soccer tournament, Jan. 18-20, at Coyote Stadium. In contests against Sunnyvale, Pampa, Little Elm and HSAA, Anna was bested only by Class 5A Little Elm and then by only two goals.
The Coyotes played a pair of matches on Thursday, one on Friday and one on Saturday. Now 4-6-1 overall, Anna begins district play on Feb. 12.
Anna 1, Sunnyvale 0
After a scoreless first half, Jose Flores booted in the Coyotes’ eventual game-winner with 6:42 elapsed in the second period. From there, Anna’s defense and goalkeeper David Joaquin held the Raiders at bay.
The Coyotes pumped out 10 shots-on-goal to Sunnyvale’s one. Joaquin was in-net the entire contest for Anna.
Anna 2, Pampa 1
The Coyotes edged the Class 4A Pampa Harvesters in their second match on Thursday. Isaac Nino, with an assist from Jose Flores, got Anna on the board in the game’s first minute and Kevin Garcia’s goal two minutes into the second frame boosted the lead to 2-0. A minute later, Pampa got on the board and there the score stayed.
The Coyotes held a 14-2 shots-on-goal advantage in the match and again Joaquin went all the way as Anna’s goalkeeper.
The Harvesters of West Texas travelled six-and-a-half hours by bus to participate in the Highway 5 Showcase.
Little Elm 2, Anna 0
Little Elm’s Lobos handed the Coyotes their lone tourney setback on Friday, with a header-goal off a corner kick and a close-range penalty kick, both in the first period.
“I’m not disappointed with the way we played,” Ellis said. “I thought we played well. We don’t defend the set-piece [corner kick] that leads to the first goal and the second goal is a penalty kick that had circumstances that were out of our control, in my opinion. … It’s the first time in several games where we haven’t completely dominated in possession.
“I tried a bunch of different things today. We move a lot of players around. Since I started moving Jerrod Roberts out of the back I think he helps our movement up top. He works well with [our forwards] off the ball. We’re just trying some new things and he did pretty well today, up top for us. And Kaleb [Stewart] in the back had a strong game. I thought he kept us organized and played pretty well.
“[Little Elm] possessed the ball well, moved it from side to side and forced you to work, defensively. But I was really proud of our boys. We didn’t give them a lot of chances in the run of play.”
David Joaquin and Phillip Henson shared time in-goal for Anna.
Anna 2, HSAA 1
On Saturday, Anna clipped the Home School Athletic Association on a late header-goal by Gonzalo Leal with under five minutes left to play. Kevin Garcia provided the assist pass for Leal’s game-winner.
HSAA’s lone score tied the match midway through the second period after Jose Flores’ goal, with a Leal assist, had given Anna a 1-0 lead at 16 minutes into the contest. Shots-on-goal went the Coyotes’ way, 7-5.
Christian-based HSAA was founded in 1995 to give home-schooled kids athletic opportunities. Their soccer season begins in the fall and they compete against both public and private schools.