Julio Hernandez scored two goals, the second one in the 77th minute to push the Austin Packers boys soccer team past Rochester Century 2-1 and, in the process, lift them to their third consecutive Big 9 Conference title.
Hernandez scored off a pass from Julio Garcia in the 18 to cap off a second half dominated by the Packers, which earlier saw Garcia tap in a goal to finish off a picture-perfect passing play with Henry Tolbert, only to see the offsides flag go up. Garcia earlier just missed the upper right corner of the net on a long free kick and drilled a shot in on goal from 23 yards out a short time later, but Panther keeper Charles Odell was able to make the save.
Odell was kept busy all night long, as he faced 15 shots to only four faced by junior Packer keeper Casey Berg. Despite the low shot total, Century took a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute on a goal by by Jacob Watson. Hernandez tied the match at 1 just 35 seconds after Watson’s goal as he blasted a penatly kick into the upper right hand side of the net, just eluding the leaping Odell.
With the win, the Packers move to 9-0-2 in the Big 9 Conference and 11-1-2 overall. They will wind up the regular season with a stiff test indeed as they travel to Richfield Saturday to take on the Number one-ranked team in Class A, the Stars of Holy Angels Academy. Kickoff is at 3:00 p.m.
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