The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

March 5, 2014

H.S. Soccer: Palestine coach John Absalom honored for winning his 400th career game, boys and girls split their matches

By BRYAN URBACH
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Palestine soccer coach John Absalom celebrated his 400th career win as Palestine’s coach on Tuesday night between the boys and girls matches against Jacksonville.

 

Absalom said his achievement can be attributed to the people that have been around him throughout his career.

 

“It’s been a lot of kids over the years,” Absalom said. “A lot of superintendents, a lot of great athletic directors and we’ve had a lot of support here with Mr. Stewart, Marshall and coach Angel. It’s all of our efforts together who have made this possible, not just me. It’s all the kids as well.”

 

His players were in action on Tuesday night as both the boys and girls squads took on Jacksonville with the boys game starting first.

 

Palestine had a few good chances early, but wasn’t able to capitalize on those chances as they lost 5-1.

Jacksonville, on the other hand, was able to strike first on an interesting situation. Palestine had been called for a foul in the box, and Jacksonville was awarded a penalty kick.

 

The Jacksonville player took and made the shot, but was then forced to redo his attempt because of a teammate moving into the box too early.

 

On the redo, the Jacksonville player scored again, bringing the game to 1-0.

 

The next goal came at 7:53 left in the first half. Jacksonville was able to get by the Wildcat defense and score. At halftime, JHS led 2-0.

 

Coming out of halftime, Jacksonville continued to be on fire as they scored on a set piece with 34:32 left in the game.

 

Palestine’s lone goal in the match came with 29:35 left in the match with Carlos Ruiz’s finish on a corner kick.

 

“That goal gave us the feeling that we had a chance to come back,” Absalom said. “But it wasn’t long after that, though, that they hit that fourth goal and that was kind of the dagger to the heart for us.”

 

That goal by Jacksonville with 25:22 left in the game was scored on a breakdown of the Wildcat defense. Jacksonville’s player moved past the defense and scored on a laser from the left side of the pitch into the bottom right corner of the goal.

 

Jacksonville was able to add an insurance goal with 4:40 left in the game as they took the win 5-1.

 

In the girls match, the Ladycats came away with a 2-1 victory against Jacksonville.

 

Gabby Meyers scored the first goal for the Ladycats on a penalty kick. The Ladycats’ second goal was scored by Lauryn James on a header from a corner sent by Meyers.

 

The Ladycats move to 16-4-1 on the season with the win, and the Wildcats move to 13-6-3 on the season with the loss.