Ryan had moments on Friday when it didn’t look anything like its record indicated.
Against Lewisville at home on Friday night, the Raiders were in contention throughout to at least pick up its second point of District 5-5A play by salvaging a tie against the Fighting Farmers.
But with less than five minutes remaining, those moments quickly faded.
Trea Smith scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute, giving Lewisville a 2-1 victory.
Ryan remains winless in district play and has two games remaining in the season, while the Farmers picked up only their second win and seventh point in 5-5A action.
“Obviously I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but the guys prepared really well [Thursday] and the level of our play was really pretty good,” Ryan head coach Robert Lamon said. “We had a couple of chances in the second half to score. Unfortunately, we didn’t connect on a couple of chances in front of the goal, and that came back to bite us.”
For most of the second half, the score was knotted at 1-1 thanks to Ryan’s quick start to the second half. After a Lewisville goal was negated because of an offsides call, the Raiders (9-12-2, 0-7-1 district) came back to tie the game and spark the sparsely filled bleachers.
Ryan’s Wesley Ellis made a run down the right side of the field and crossed the ball into the 18-yard box. The pass found the feet of Christian Ramos, who shot the ball back across the goal and into the right side of the netting to tie the game in the 50th minute.
The Raiders controlled possession for the most of the second half and had other chances to go ahead.
In the 60th minute, Aldo Esparza was a few feet in front of the goal but couldn’t keep his headed shot from rising above the crossbar. Three minutes later, Fabian Zuniga turned and ripped a shot from outside of the penalty box just wide of the left crossbar, almost putting the home side ahead of the Farmers.
Later in the contest, Lewisville (11-5-2, 2-5-1) started to gain momentum.
Then in the 77th minute, three minutes before the final whistle, the ball squirted to the center of Ryan’s penalty box and Lewisville’s Smith fired it into the right side of the corner.
With little time left in the game, the Raiders were unable to recover from the goal.
“We really talk about that a lot — finishing games,” Lamon said. “It’s been a little bit of a problem for us. This is a learning experience, like any other, so it’s something our team has to work on mentally, and in terms of their teamwork, getting together to prevent that from happening and then also doing that on the opposite end.”
The burst of chances in the second half resembled what the Raiders did in the game’s first 40 minutes.
For a span of about six minutes in the first half, it looked as if Ryan was going to be the team that was going to break the game’s scoreless tie.
The Raiders had controlled possession throughout the opening half and seemed destined to score.
Then all of a sudden, fate favored Lewisville.
On a free kick, a Farmers player lofted a cross near the Ryan goal. When the ball hit the turf, four Lewisville players surrounded the ball. Jesse Paniagua calmly nestled the ball in the center of the net three minutes before the halftime whistle, giving Lewisville the 1-0 lead going into the break.
While Ryan has no chance at making the postseason, Lamon said his team still has plenty to play for in its final two games.
“This builds for the rest of the season in terms of us finishing, even though we’re out of the playoff hunt — finishing with pride and a couple of strong games to come,” Lamon said. “That’s what our objective is.”
BEN BABY can be reached 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is email@example.com.