El Paso — After getting schooled by giving up six goals in two games against Oklahoma Ciy, the El Paso Patriots decided to bring back the teacher. And it helped.
Assistant coach Hugo Samano suited up to anchor the Patriots back line, and El Paso earned its first win of the season, 3-1, over the Houston Dutch Lions in the team's second game at the Socorro Student Activities Center.
Not having to worry so much about defense benefited the Patriots' offense greatly as the team was able to unleash its speedy forwards against a Dutch Lions' defense that couldn't match El Paso's efforts on this Saturday night.
Center forward Naoyas Aizawa ran almost at will at the Houston back four, quickly drawing lots of attention -- so much so that a simple pass from Aizawa to the right wing found midfielder Francisco de Anda all alone in the 16th minute.
De Anda took a few strides, then unleashed a 25-yard bomb to the near post that beat Dutch Lions goalkeeper Jaimy Schaap for the opening goal.
Aizawa scored El Paso's second all by himself, victimizing the Houston back line. Aizawa stole a crossing pass in the back, dribbled past a surprised Schaap who had come off his line and rolled his shot into the goal in the 26th minute.
The Patriots defense got to take a bow on El Paso's third goal, as defender Eric Hernandez lofted a beautiful crossing pass into the area. The cross dipped just over the Dutch Lions' defense to Enrique Cervantes who headed it home in the 29th.
Houston's lone goal came from the solid efforts of as Verhaas. Easily the Dutch Lions' most dangerous player, Verhaas led a brilliant short pass into the area for Jelle van Kruijssen who first-timed the shot past El Paso goalie Agustin Rey in the 49th minute.