By Denton Diablos FC
In spite of the storm warnings and weather predictions, the 2023 NPSL Lone Star Conference season kicked off under a beautiful May Texas sky. A light breeze and some cloud cover provided the ideal climate for a beautiful backdrop that is Texas Woman’s University Pioneer Soccer Park.
Just over 800 tickets were distributed for the game, and attendance was just over 500 people. This set a Diablos season opener record.
And the energetic crowd didn’t have to wait long to see the game get interesting. In just the 10th minute, and despite not seeing much of possession in the opening few minutes, Alex Masbruch broke free down the right-hand side. He delivered a tantalizing ball that was redirected by Kirill Antonov to Aubrey Eason. Then Eason took a settling touch, before exploding into space and driving home the low shot into the corner for the 1-0 lead for the Diablos. Masbruch, Antonov, and Eason all made their Diablos debut, stamping their names in the history books in multiple ways.
Both teams battled evenly the remainder of the first half with good chances going both ways. But it would be Eason who added to his goal tally, grabbing the brace in the 70th minute. He would take his man 1v1, weaving in and out, cutting back to his thunderous right foot, and blistering home the brace into the roof of the goal, sending the Diablos faithful into euphoria.
The final whistle blew just 20 minutes later. Kyle Parks, also making his Diablos debut, collected his first-ever clean sheet, and the Diablos secured the season opening win as well as leg 1 of the Chisholm Trail Clasico!
Diablos head coach Armando Pelaez shared his thoughts on the matchup.
“It was a very good game,” Pelaez said. “I’m very pleased with my squad. They did everything that I asked for, and each one of them was very valuable.”
The Diablos are off next weekend before they resume play on May 20th at home vs. Corinthians FC of San Antonio at beautiful Texas Woman’s University.
Photo Credit: Daniel McCullough