Soccer: Bulls finish charge back to top – With draw, Bridgeport wins 3-4A title

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 15, 2017
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JUBILATION – Bridgeport coach Ben Parks is mobbed on the field by players and fans after the Bulls’ 2-2 tie with Decatur Friday to secure the District 3-4A title. The Bulls won their second straight district title in the program’s second year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In the 34th minute, Bridgeport’s Juan Amador snuck the ball inside the lower left post to even the score at 2 with rival Decatur.

Amador’s equalizer propelled the Bulls to their second district title in the soccer program’s second year with the 2-2 draw.

Bridgeport, which started District 3-4A with three straight ties and were in last place after the first third, finished atop the league with 19 points – two more than Decatur.

Bridgeport won five straight matches before Friday’s draw.

“Their attitude and effort is unmatched. That’s why we’re repeat champions,” said Bridgeport coach Ben Parks. “Looking at those three draws, we were happy for the three points but were also frustrated. But at the end of the race, a point is a point.”

Bridgeport will open the playoffs with a match against Brownwood Friday, March 24, at Mineral Wells.

“This is amazing in only our second year to win again. This is just the beginning,” said Efrain DeLuna. “We knew we could be one of the best teams in the district. We set the goal to win district.”

DeLuna, who had the final minute goal in the first matchup with Decatur to earn a hard-fought draw, put Bridgeport in the lead in the opening two minutes Friday. Making a hard run at the goal, DeLuna beat the Decatur keeper.

“I found myself one-on-one and found the net,” DeLuna said.

The Bridgeport lead didn’t last long with Decatur’s Jaime Prado heading in a cross from Armando Benitez in the sixth minute.

“Heading is one of my best qualities, and I got it on the goal,” Prado said.

He wasn’t finished. Splitting three defenders, Prado made a solo run up the middle of the field and put the ball past the Bridgeport keeper to give Decatur a 2-1 lead in the 19th minute.

“The crowd had me going and I had a chance and took a shot,” Prado said.

The Eagles outshot Bridgeport 7-5, including a pair of strong chances turned away in the second half.

“We had a lot of opportunities that would’ve won the game. We just couldn’t put it in the net,” Prado said.

As the second seed out of 3-4A, Decatur will meet Mineral Wells in bi-district.

“I was proud of how we fought this game,” said Decatur coach Wes Campbell.

“We need to get healthy and keep playing as a team.”

Splitting the Defense

SPLITTING THE DEFENSE – Decatur’s Jaime Prado works the ball up the field between Bridgeport defenders during Friday’s 2-2 tie. Prado scored twice. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Trying to Get Away

TRYING TO GET AWAY – Bridgeport’s Juan Amador runs up field after scoring the game-tying goal Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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