By Colin Bado, TSB contributing writer
Both the McKinney North Bulldogs and the Prosper Eagles entered Tuesday night’s boys soccer match leading District 17-4A with 2-0 records. Playing at home, North came into the game with an edge, but despite the familiar territory and the home crowd’s efforts, the Bulldogs would fall 4-1 against their well-seasoned opponent.
Prosper won their first district games with ease. With an 8-0 win against Anna and an 8-2 win against Denison, North was supposed to be Prosper’s first real test in the district.
The few seconds after kickoff would have led me to believe otherwise. Within the first minute, North weaved their way through the Prosper defense, as Morgan Dizney would take the first shot of the game, only to be denied by the right post. Prosper’s defense scrambled and was able to clear the ball out of play.
The clear resulted in a corner kick for the Bulldogs. Dizney was allotted the kick and succeeded in finding teammate, Danny Rodriguez, who located the back of the net. Only 1 minute and 20 seconds had elapsed and North would see their first and only lead of the night.
Prosper responded quickly, moving the ball meticulously through North’s defense. North was able to hold off their initial attack until Prosper’s Zach Peterson struck the ball past North goalie, Bryce Clark to tie the game at 1-1. The goal, which coame only two minutes after North’s, quickly deflated the Dawgs momentum.
As intensity mounted between the well-matched teams, frustration appeared to emerge. Propser’s Garrett Moore, received the first of the team’s three yellow cards five minutes into the match.
During the first half, possession remained equal between both teams. North’s Kyle Biggio nearly put his team ahead in the 15th minute, but keeper Logan Wymes’ diving effort kept the game tied at 1. Not to be outdone, 45 seconds later, Clark made an amazing save, denying Peterson his second goal of the night.
Coach Ryan Rogers of Prosper would let his own temper get the best of him when the “Prosper Bench” was issued a yellow card, halfway into the first half.
North and Prosper would continue to battle back and forth until a defensive blunder on North’s part would give up the lead. Clark left his net and attacked Prosper’s forward Ronald Rivas. As North’s defense collapsed into Rivas, he was able to slip the ball to teammate, Paul Sayers. With an open net, Sayers put his team up for good.
During the final minutes of the half, Biggio would put up a last ditch effort with a shot to tie the game, but came up empty handed.
The Eagles took complete control in the second half and never looked back. Coming out firing on all cylinders, Peterson would outrun North’s defense and score his second goal of the night within the first 3 minutes.
Unable to bounce back, North was stuck in a defensive position the majority of the second half. Using their speed and ball control to their advantage, Prosper sustained their assault on the weary Dawgs. Peterson, and the Eagles weren’t finished with their attack. Rivas would assist Peterson for his 3rd goal of the night, earning him the coveted hat trick.
Up 4 to 1, North’s coach, Tommy Sills, placed Erique Mills in goal. Even though Propser would not reach the back of the net the remainder of the game, the damage had already been done.
During the second half, North only managed two shots on goal. Propser continued to put pressure on the North defense allowing little hope for the Dawgs to make a comeback.
Propser’s third and final yellow card would come in the 58th minute, issued to Dalton Knipe.
North’s next opportunity to settle the score against the Eagles will be on March 19th in Prosper. Until then, the Dawgs will have to continue to win-out over their other district opponents, including their next match against Anna this Friday.