Tim Eaton Invitational
• Victoria East vs. Beeville, Noon, Memorial Stadium
• Bay City vs. West, 2 p.m., Memorial Stadium
• Beeville vs. Bay City, 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium
• Victoria East vs. Victoria West, 8 p.m., Memorial Stadium
Ricky Stratmann is a fine goalkeeper, but if he's too busy, it's probably not a good thing for the Victoria East soccer team.
Friday, the junior was more active than anyone in gold would have preferred. His heroics were not enough to prevent the Titans from losing 1-0 to Bay City in the Tim Eaton Invitational.
Stratmann had four saves, but the visitors were able to unleash 21 shots.
"Ricky does a good job of keeping things organized," said Victoria East soccer coach Bobby Ramos. "Unfortunately, we've been relying too much on his abilities in the goal. We aren't protecting him as much as we should.
"We're so accustomed to him saving the day. We have to realize he's not perfect. He's human and he's going to make mistakes. We have to do a better job of protecting him so we don't leave him out by himself on an island all too much."
It wasn't a mistake that led to the game's only goal in the 50th minute, but rather just good fortune.
Bay City's Felix Rodriguez unleashed a stinging shot from inside the penalty area. Stratmann parried the ball into the path of Vincent Perez, who headed it home for the Blackcats.
"It felt pretty good," Perez said. "We needed that win to boost up our confidence. We started the season a little rough, not quite looking how we should, but we're working and getting better."
Perez said Elmer Ramirez and Teryo Lopez played well at opposite ends of the field.
Ramirez is the stopper in the Blackcats 4-4-2 system, while Lopez is a forward whose direct running style gave East problems at times.
The Blackcats (2-4-1) produced their first shutout of the season.
Goalkeeper Anthony Thomas didn't have much to do, especially in the first half, but finished with five saves.
"Hustling, there was a lot of hustling," said Bay City soccer coach Luis Gomez about his team producing its first clean sheet. "I think we matched up well with them. The stuff they were doing matched our strengths. They played on the ground and we were fast enough to recover."
East had 13 shots on the night, but just five were on target.
They had two good chances in the penalty area, but couldn't test Thomas.
In the 32nd minute Jacob Lopez huffed a high diagonal pass toward Wyatt Fimbel on the right flank, who laid off a pass into the six yard box. East's one-time shot hit off the goalpost and bounced away.
The Titans (1-4-1) chance to tie the game came in the 65th minute when an Isaac Ramirez cross from the right was met in the six yard box by Jose Oviedo.
However, the shot went over the crossbar.
As the game progressed, the tournament's namesake sat in the press box at Patti Welder Stadium urging on his players to find a tying goal.
It was not to be.
East drew a free kick about 25 yards from goal.
However, the buzzer sounded before the Titans could unfurl what they hoped was the equalizing goal.
"We had a lot of pressure on their defense and their offense," Perez said. "We tried to play defense and make them feel uncomfortable with their passes and shots. The field was a little rough, so it was a little slow. Other than that, I think we did pretty well."
Victoria West 6- Beeville 1
Playing its first game in Victoria this season, Victoria West proved its early season form was not reserved for the road.
The Warriors dispatched Beeville 6-1 in the Tim Eaton Invitational Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Hector Mendoza scored a hat trick, Diego Perez scored a goal and added two assists.
Edward Rodriguez, as well as Diego's twin, Ernesto, scored for Victoria West.
West improved to 5-1-1 on the season with the win.
Of the 13 goals the Warriors have scored this season, 10 have assists, including five of Friday's goals.