Romero-Hernandez, Generals rally past Bulldogs
QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson’s Carlos Romero-Hernandez didn’t feel 100 percent healthy on Friday, but his play on the soccer field was exactly what the Generals needed.
Romero-Hernandez had a hat trick, including the game-winning goal in the final minute, as the Generals rallied to beat Luray, 4-3, in Shenandoah District boys soccer action.
Romero-Hernandez, a senior forward, scored in dramatic fashion to win the game. Luray goalkeeper Brayden Burrill came out of the goal to try to stop a shot attempt by Romero-Hernandez. Burrill went low, and Romero-Hernandez was able to flick the ball over Burrill, and it slowly bounced its way into the open goal.
“I was surprised it went in,” Romero-Hernandez said. “It was very exciting. We needed this win.”
Romero-Hernandez said he didn’t feel good all day, but wanted to do his best for the team.
The Generals trailed 3-0 in the first half. Luray scored two goals within two minutes to take the lead.
Luray freshman forward Sam Lipscomb scored with about 23 minutes left in the opening half.
Just two minutes later, Chauncey Lipscomb put the ball past Stonewall Jackson goalkeeper Blake McCourt for a 2-0 advantage.
Sam Lipscomb stretched the lead to 3-0 with about 15 minutes left as he put the ball past a diving McCourt.
Romero-Hernandez slid the ball past Luray goalkeeper Brayden Burrill with 10 minutes left in the first half to cut the lead to 3-1.
Romero-Hernandez added another goal in the final minute of the half to cut the lead to 3-2 at the half.
“I just tried to take the shots and they went in,” he said.
The opportunities for the Generals to score more goals were few and far between in the first half. Stonewall Jackson’s Juan Arrocena-Jacuinde had a nice shot attempt from about 15 yards away with about 25 minutes left in the first half, but Burrill made a save to keep the Generals off the scoreboard.
The Generals (4-4-1) were able to turn the tide in the second half as they controlled the play more than Luray (4-2-2).
“We came out flat in the first half,” Stonewall Jackson coach Matt Burgwald said. “We made some changes in the second half and it paid off.”
Early in the second half, the Generals had a good scoring opportunity. Stonewall Jackson’s Tyrel Morrison had a breakaway, but Burrill was able to kick the shot attempt away to make the save.
McCourt made a kick save of his own with about 26 minutes left in the game off a hard shot by Luray’s Ben Gray.
The Generals missed a golden scoring opportunity with about 20 minutes left in the game. Stonewall Jackson’s Angel Arteaga Loorenzo made a move around a Luray defender, and had a one-on-one opportunity with Burrill. Loorenzo’s shot just missed to the left of the net.
Stonewall Jackson’s Devin Miller had a free kick from just outside the penalty box, but his shot was too high with about 11 minutes left.
Just a minute later, Arteaga Loorenzo scored to tie the game at 3-3. His shot went into the right corner past Burrill.
“Carlos is a great scorer, but we have a lot of other guys that can score as well,” Burgwald said. “That was a hard shot (by Loorenzo).”
The Generals had played two overtime games earlier this week. Stonewall Jackson and Luray played to a 3-3 tie on Monday at Luray, and the Generals lost in overtime to Wilson Memorial on Tuesday.
It appeared the Generals might be playing another overtime game until Romero-Hernandez’s goal.
Pedro Ramirez-Barron, Miller and Arrocena-Jacuinde each had an assist in the game.
“It was an emotional win for the team,” Burgwald said. “It was a great win for us. We haven’t been in these kind of games in a few years against some of these teams. We’re trying to improve the soccer program here with hard work, a change in attitude and personnel.”