It took Denton a little while to get its offense warmed up, but once the passes starting clicking and the shots starting flowing, it seemed as if it was just a matter of time before it popped Mansfield Legacy’s thin defensive bubble.
Denton kept its foot on the gas pedal after a scoreless first half and peppered Legacy’s goalkeeper with a multitude of high-quality chances in the second half but couldn’t find its way to any goals in a 0-0 draw on Friday night at Bronco Field.
“I think we were a little disappointed not to get a result tonight because I think we felt like we played well enough to, but the bottom line is you have to finish opportunities,” Denton head coach Scott Heffley said. “I was proud of the boys that we created opportunities. I thought we possessed the ball pretty well at times tonight and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
Showing a tenacious ball pursuit game with its defense thwarting Legacy attacks without much stress leading to a quick transition game, Denton began to attack in waves.
In the 46th minute, junior Chandler Page accepted the breakaway pass from midfield and ripped a shot off the left post from 10 yards out, but Denton was unable to jump on the juicy rebound.
Senior Christian Carranza showed perhaps the most offensive jump for Denton and looked to have the go-ahead goal in the 53rd minute, but his far post strike from the left was called offside.
“I think Mansfield is a good team,” Heffley said. “Even though [our] chemistry wasn’t great, I could see potential there. We’ve got some players that can really play well together. The starting 11 should be formidable and be able to play with anybody.”
In the final 10 minutes, Denton suffocated Legacy (1-2-1) into several corner kicks, but couldn’t connect with the crashing offensive players. Carranza found his second post of the night on a turnaround shot from 15 yards out with four minutes left to cap Denton’s frustrating night.
“He’s done well to get in some good situations, and I think it’s now just a matter of finishing off the opportunities,” Heffley said. “[Chris] Torres was and will be a dangerous player for us as well.”
Denton’s defense wasn’t under too much pressure, only facing a handful of shots and was spry in diffusing Legacy’s ill-timed attacks — something Heffley and Denton will rely on throughout the season.
The Broncos (1-4-1) fell to The Colony 4-0 on Tuesday, but the game was scoreless through the first half as Heffley continued to give different players looks with District 11-4A play a few weeks away.
“That 4-0 loss wasn’t representative of the game,” Heffley said. “It was 0-0 at halftime and despite losing to The Colony, I wasn’t overly concerned. Nevertheless, I did like what I saw tonight with the defense. They started the attack and really got us going forward.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.