Huntsville soccer coach Shawn Dunbar can’t remember the last time he blamed a loss on the officials.

He says he’s never done it.

On Tuesday night, Dunbar did it. After the Hornets suffered a tough 2-1 loss to Lufkin at Huntsville High School, the veteran coach said the officials gave the Panthers one goal. By issuing four yellow cards and a red card, Dunbar said the officials frustrated the Hornets for much of the game, allowing Lufkin to break a 1-all tie with a goal early in the second half.

“On their first goal, that kid was offsides, flat out,” Dunbar said. “The officials didn’t call it, they didn’t raise the flag and he put the ball in. We also got five cards thrown at us.

“Tonight’s game was poorly officiated. It was a bad night. I thought we played well. We didn’t necessarily play our best, but we played well enough to win. When the officials are calling like that, you can’t get into the flow of play. You’re always worried about what the officials are going to call.”

Huntsville dropped to 2-3 in District 14-5A play and 5-5-1 on the season. With the win, Lufkin improved to 3-1 in district and 5-2-1 overall.

Jaime Zamarripa scored the game’s first goal after Huntsville goalkeeper Jaime Ramirez chased a shot and left the net unguarded midway through the first half. Zamarripa and one of his teammates slipped past Huntsville’s defenders and without a challenge, Zamarripa booted the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 Lufkin lead.

Before he scored, Dunbar and his assistant coach were screaming about the Panthers being offsides. Their pleas were ignored and Lufkin’s goal stood.

Huntsville knotted the score late in the first half when senior Alonso Martinez found the net with a long shot that soared over the Lufkin keeper’s outstretched arms.

“That was a beautiful shot,” Dunbar said. “It was at least 30 yards and it hit the upper left 90.”

Lufkin broke the tie with 27:34 left in the game. After a shot bounced off Ramirez’s chest, Daniel Martinez raced along and scored on the rebound.

“Their second goal, they took a shot and it rebounded. Their kid was there to follow,” Dunbar said. “Lufkin’s got a good team, give them credit. But if I’m going to lose, I want to lose because they flat out outplayed us and flat out outscored us.”

The Hornets head to Oak Ridge on Friday for another district game against the War Eagles. Start time is 7 p.m.

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