Victoria, Texas - After a goal on the opening kickoff put the Titans down early in their bi-district playoff last Friday, sophomore Joe Aguirre knew he had to step up.
Said Aguirre, "When they scored on us, I told
the team, I was like 'keep y'alls heads up'. I was pointing like this on my head so they could know to keep their heads up, and keep their focus on the game and know that this game wasn't over yet."
Less than five minutes later, Aguirre found paydirt, scoring off a perfect cross to tie the game at one. He would add another in the first half and later, the first goal of penalty kicks, telling me his team finds another level when their backs are against the wall.
'" think when we're losing it gives us more hope, and it makes us pick up the intensity, and go harder against the other teams. Cause we know we're down and need to be up. Especially in a playoff game, in a playoff game you need to go 110%, it's not like no regular season game ."
Titans head coach Josh Chaput thinks that's just the midfielder's makeup. He tells me while only a sophomore, Aguirre's win-or-bust mentality has made him a vocal leader.
"He just wants to win. Always trying to motivate guys, tryna keep guys positive. 'Hey come on guys, we can do this, we got this.' He's just great to have in the locker room and as part of our program."
Despite Chaput's vote of confidence, Aguirre wouldn't pretend nerves weren't a factor as he stepped up to take East's first penalty, one that loomed large in a 4-3 shootout win.
"I was a little nervous, but obviously you're gonna be nervous in your first PK shootout, first playoff, you don't wanna miss."
The Titans' season came to an end Tuesday with an area round loss to Sharyland. But with a young core surrounding the young midfielder, it could be the start of something special. Sean Coffey, Newscenter 25 Sports