College Station High School’s Daniel Gildin didn’t wait long to prove it will take some effort to unseat him as District 19-5A’s top goalkeeper.
Gildin made two diving saves in the opening 20 minutes Tuesday against Rudder to help the College Station boys soccer team blank the Rangers 1-0 at Rudder on Tuesday in the district opener. Gildin got a hand on a shot headed to the lower left corner to stop the first one, then he turned away the second on a one-on-one situation with another diving stop.
“Senior captain goalkeeper of the year last year ... I can’t say enough about him,” first-year College Station coach Chad Peevey said. “During the offseason, every day at work, he’s pushing the guys. He’s a guy we have heavily relied on the last couple of years.”
The Cougars (3-2-2) got the only goal in the 24th minute against the run of play. Daniel Corado sent a ball through to Arthur Proenca, whose left-footed shot appeared to be saved but went off the legs of the Rudder goalkeeper and into the net.
“No matter how that result happens, getting that first win, getting that first game under our belts for district is just amazing, and I can’t say enough about our guys,” Peevey said. “They bust their tails every day.”
Rudder (2-4-1) managed to beat Gildin twice but couldn’t convert. The Rangers first caught Gildin out of goal, but College Station’s Owen Green cleared the slow moving ball off the line. The second time with only 10 minutes remaining, Rogelio Martinez’s shot from close range hit the far post and caromed back to Gildin, who was still on the ground after diving for the first shot.
It turned out to be the last opportunity the Rangers had at gaining a draw.
“That’s the game. It happens day in and day out,” Rudder coach Dane Seydler said. “It’s not about luck. We’ve just got to capitalize on other chances a little bit better. The guys did what they were supposed to do. The outcome was a little bit different than obviously we expected.”
Martinez played a part in the Rangers’ three best opportunities. He raced down the right wing and pulled the ball back to Osman Gutierrez, whose shot from near the top of the box couldn’t have been placed much better but failed to find the net. Martinez also had the breakaway to reach Gildin one-on-one on arguably the pass of the night from Chris Richardson, who found a gap in the Cougar defense from behind midfield.
College Station’s best opportunity for a second goal came moments after the first with Corado again providing the pass in the box that Rudder’s Francisco Lorta was able to clear just before the Cougars could reach it for an easy shot.
College Station’s central defenders Johnny Villalobos and Zach Dang played well in the second half, keeping the Rangers from getting any opportunities inside the box other that Martinez’s shot that hit the post. Green had the unenviable task of containing the speedy Martinez.
“We moved him from midfield to backline, and he came in and made some big plays and big stops,” Peevey said. “Rudder is very, very talented, and [Martinez] is their dude, and they kept trying to find him the ball, and moving [Green] back like that was big for him making those plays.”
College Station will host Magnolia West and Rudder will play at Magnolia on Friday in a district that was tight throughout last season.
“I would say we got the hardest district in the state, and other people have said the same exact thing” Seydler said. “Us and District 20, and guess what? We get to see District 20 in the playoffs.”
NOTES — College Station won the JV match 2-0 with goals from Ethan Riechmann and Mihail Dimitrov.