Westwood Soccer Finishes in 2nd Place at Red Raider Invitational

Leo Botello scores a goal off a header against Harris in Saturday's tournament match

Leo Botello scores a goal off a header against Harris in Saturday’s tournament match

Facing the challenge of playing 3 games in 5 hours, the Westwood Rockets fought off exhaustion to finish in 2nd place in the inaugural Red Raider Invitational.  The Rockets finished the day with a record of 2 and 1 on the day and finish with 22 points.  Harris Middle was the lone team to beat Westwood as they won the tournament with 26 points.

Westwood opened the day with a pair of back to back games.  The Rockets got a strong effort in a 4 to 0 win over Madison Academy of Huntsville at 10:15 AM in their first game.  The Rockets got a pair of goals from Leo Botello and single goals from Juan Penaloza and Andres Cavalie.

This set up a match up with Harris at noon.  The Eagles of Harris got 4 first half goals as they dominated the time of possession against a tiring Rockets defense.  The deficit should have been larger except for the sparkling play of Westwood keeper Cailan McLean who had 3 remarkable saves in the first half to finish with 6 for the match.   Leo Botello got both Westwood goals on a pair of great individual efforts.  In the first half, Botello hit a beautiful sliding toe punch just inside the 18 yard box at the 13th minute.  In the 2nd half, he headed home a corner kick from Penaloza.  Westwood’s defense shutout the Eagles in the second half, but Westwood ended up falling 4 to 2.

Westwood keeper Cailan McLean

Westwood keeper Cailan McLean

The Rockets got a short break until 3:00 when they took on Algood.  The Putnam County Redskins played a physical contest but Westwood was able to use their speed and excellent passing to take a 3 to 0 lead into the half.  Juan Penaloza got the scoring started for Westwood as he found the back of the net in the 5th minute.  Leo Basurto, who did not start the match due to cramps, came off the bench to score goals in the 25th and 28th minutes to give Westwood a 3 to 0 lead at the half.  Rocket keeper Cailan McLean did not allow an Algood goal in the 2nd half as he got his second shutout of the day leading the Rockets to a 3 to 0 win.   Westwood will play host to Webb on Tuesday night at Dyer-Bouldin Field.  That match will kick off at 5:00 PM.