Soccer district play starts this week for Port Arthur & Mid County squads

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, January 25, 2022

District play for local high school soccer teams begins this week.

Nederland, Memorial and Port Neches-Groves start District 21-5A play Tuesday as the Bulldogs and Titans square off against each other in Port Arthur and the Indians head to Crosby to take on the Cougars.

Nederland (1-4-3) is coming off a three-game losing streak, while Memorial won its previous contest against Hardin-Jefferson.

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Nederland Head Coach Keith Barrow is looking for his team to break out of its slump.

“Our results haven’t been what we’ve wanted, but we are playing pretty well,” Barrow said. “We have a lot of new players on the field and are making some young-team mistakes. We played a pretty good preseason schedule and think it has prepared us for district. Now, we get to wipe the slate clean and start over.”

Barrow’s team has also struggled with continuity as players have been in and out of the lineup with COVID.

“We get one of those back and I think that will help us a lot,” he said.

PNG, 8-1-2, is firing on all cylinders behind the goal scoring of Jesus Maldonado and Tate Sandell, who each have 17 goals.

PNG suffered a 3-1 loss in the final game of a tournament, but Head Coach Chad Luttrull said his team had a quick turnaround.

“We played so many games in a short period of time,” he said. “We have had a good week to prepare for Crosby. We are hoping to come out with some points.”

Luttrull said he has been proud of how well rounded the Indians have played, outscoring opponents 46-8.

“Our midfielders are much improved on the season,” he said. “Obviously, we are scoring a bunch of goals and our defense isn’t giving up too many.”

The head coach said the team’s defensive effort has been impressive.

“We are led by Andres Sandoval,” he said. “He is a junior that plays center back. He is three-year starter for us. He is a really solid player and has great defensive skills. Our midfielder, Manny Torrones, has been playing lights out lately and that has really helped us.”