El Paso, TX — Kal Herbert continued where he left off in Midland, scoring the game-winner against El Paso for the second straight week, as the West Texas Sockers exit the Mid-South Division cellar with a 2-0 win over the punchless Patriots here Saturday night.
But as the Sockers (2-4-1, 7 points, T-3rd) exit the cellar, they leave the Patriots (1-4-1, 4 points) in it.
Missing their leading scorer, Naoyas Aizawa -- out with a strained hamstring suffered in last weekend's loss at West Texas -- El Paso suffered another blow when its second-leading scorer, Enrique Cervantes, had to leave the game in the 26th minute after suffering from severe leg cramps, brought on in part by the uncharacteristically high humidity in the Sun City.
Friday night thunderstorms in El Paso left the city in a haze Saturday. Much the same could be said for the Patriots, who had few serious offensive chances in the game.
Herbert opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Finding himself open on the right wing, the British midfielder cracked a low shot from 20 yards out near the right corner of the area that beat El Paso goalie Agustin Rey to the far post.
A Patriots' handball in the area and the resulting penalty gave West Texas an opportunity for its second goal, and Andres Maldonado made the most of it, hitting his penalty to Rey's right in the 79th minute.
Both of the Sockers' wins and each of their seven points have come at El Paso's expense, and the teams play once more here in two weeks.
El Paso hits the road for a challenging two-games-in-two-nights road trip to defending Mid-South Division champion Laredo and current division leaders Austin next Friday and Saturday.