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PHARR, Texas - The last undefeated team in the South Texas Premier Soccer Association’s 18-and-Under Summer League fell at the hands of La Joya 3-2 on Saturday at the Donna soccer fields in the Week 7 Game of the Week.
La Joya, who lost their undefeated status the week before against the Rattlers, improved its record to 4-1-1 for 13 points to remain in fourth place and on pace for one of the four playoff berths available.
With the heart-breaking loss, Indios (2-2-1, 8) dropped to seventh place in the league table. However, the Donna-based squad is very much in the race for a Summer League playoff spot.
Without some key players on defense for Indios, La Joya exploited their opponent’s weakness to take a 2-0 lead in the first 17 minutes of the match on a pair of goals by Ernesto Herrera in the ninth and 17th minutes.
Indios reacted quickly and got a goal back when striker Ricky Vargas tallied his fourth of the season in the 27 minute of play to cut the lead 2-1.
In the second half, Edgar García increased the La Joya lead 3-1 in the 60th minute. Indios didn’t give up and came within a goal of the equalizer in the 62nd minute on a tally by Coronado. That was as close as Indios would get to La Joya as they saw their undefeated streak end at four games with a 3-2 loss.
At the San Juan Municipal Park, a rejuvenated Potros had the league-leading Rattlers on the ropes for much of the game and built a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Joan Lerma in the 12th and 53rd minutes.
However, the Potros fell victim to one of the oldest adages in soccer that says that the 2-0 lead is the most dangerous in soccer.
The Rattlers rallied to overcome the two-goal deficit to defeat the Potros 3-2 on a pair of goals by Jason Hall (58th and 80th), including the game winner, and another tally by Erick Hervert in the 74th minute.
With the victory, the Rattlers (6-0-1) accumulated 18 points to remain atop the league standings with a five-point difference over their closest rival, Mission (4-1-2, 13).
The loss sent the Potros (2-1-4) to the second-to-last place spot in the table with seven points. Despite their tenth place position, only six points separate the Potros from second place, which means that all the teams in the league are still in the race for a playoff spot.
In other results, the Tigers (4-1-2, 13) recovered from last week’s loss to defeat San Benito 4-0 on a hat-trick by Rigoberto Hernández at Donna. The loss left the lower Valley squad with a 2-1-3 record for seven points. Meanwhile, Hormigas (3-0-5, 9) defeated España (3-1-3, 10) 2-0 at San Juan.
The hat-trick scored by the Tigers’ Rigoberto Hernández tied him with the Rattlers’ Luis Gómez for the league goal-scoring lead with five goals each. Five players are tied in second place with four goals each: Ricky Vargas of Indios, Edgar García of La Joya, César Ibáñez and Aldo Sánchez of Mission and Daniel García of Rattlers.
For more information on the STXPSA or league registration for the upcoming Fall season, call (956) 212-5750.