By MIKE IBANEZ
The Lewisville High School boys soccer team’s magical playoff run came to an end at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium on Friday afternoon.
With a huge contingent of LHS students in attendance thanks to school administration offering excused absences to soccer fans, the Farmers suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Arlington Sam Houston in the Class 6A Region I semifinal.
Peter Hmung scored two short-handed LHS goals eight minutes apart in the second half. The scoring explosion erased a Sam Houston 1-0 lead, but the Texans responded with an equalizer two minutes later and out-scored the Farmers 1-0 during the two 10-minute overtime periods.
The Farmers held close despite losing Jason Granados early in the second half when he was red-carded after arguing a foul call. The ejection forced LHS to complete the game a man down, an unfortunate circumstance that seventh-year Farmer coach Brandon McCallum said motivated his team before eventually exhausting his players.
“Sometimes when you go a man down, it’s not as detrimental as people think because it raises the level of your 10 (players), while lessening the level of your opponents’ 11,” McCallum said. “We raised our level and that’s when we got our goals but the amount of time left, plus the heat on the turf eventually took its toll on us.”
Granados argued the referee’s call, was given a yellow card, then doubled down with his argument and earned the red card. With the added time in overtime factored in, Granados’ ejection meant that the Farmers played 10 on 11 for 40 of the game’s 60 minutes.
“I’m OK with the call because my kids need to keep their heads,” McCallum said. “I think it was merited.”
Hmung, a Harding College commitment, scored from inside the box on his first goal, then cranked a 30-yard shot that found the back of the left side of the net to make the score 2-1. The fact that he was on the field was impressive enough, as he missed mid-week practices with a hip flexor.
“Peter is a special player,” McCallum said. “He’s even a special player at 75 percent. You need your special players to step up when it counts, and that’s exactly what he did today.”
Mario Trevizo scored the overtime game-winner for Sam Houston, who will face Hebron in Saturday afternoon’s regional final. Sergio Martinez and Jason Ramirez also scored for the Texans.
The loss closed out a busy eight days of action for the Farmers, who defeated Duncanville 1-0 last Friday to advance to the regional quarterfinals, where they beat Irving Nimitz 2-1.
Defenders Brandon Barrows and Carlos Galvan teamed up to score the only LHS goal against area-ranked Duncanville, who had outscored district opponents 46-7 and dismantled Waco Midway 6-0 in bi-district play.
Barrows headed Hmung’s free kick to Galvan, who scored from inside the box with 23 minutes to play. Goalkeeper Angel Santana batted away numerous Panther opportunities and Galvan, Barrows and Jonathan Lara were solid in defense to ensure that Galvan’s goal was the game-winner.
Granados and Josue Romo scored goals in the win over Nimitz. The win prompted LHS officials to announce to students they were encouraged to attend the regional semifinal game without penalty of unexcused absence. Even the Farmer softball team was in attendance, prior to their evening game at Carroll.
“That’s the biggest soccer crowd I’ve seen since I’ve been at LHS,” McCallum said. “People always talk about Farmer pride and it was sure on display this afternoon. I hope this sets an example and an expectation for the younger kids on the team. It can be a building block for the future.”