WARDEN - If not for a disputed non-call the outcome might have been different as the Lady Viking soccer team lost 4-2 at Warden yesterday.
Mabton grabbed the early lead Thursday, when in the ninth minute Maricela Chavez drove the ball into the left side of Warden's net, just outside the keeper's reach.
The Lady Vikings looked like they might make it 2-0 when a Warden player picked up the ball near her own net and then dropped it back to the ground.
"I thought for sure we would be looking at a penalty kick for a handball," said Mabton Coach Elizabeth Garcia.
Instead, all three officials overlooked the play and kept their whistles silent.
"I was shocked. I talked to them (officials) at the half," Garcia said. "They acknowledged it should have been called and apologized."
Warden took advantage of the reprieve to score an equalizing goal to make it a 1-1 match at the half.
The Cougars scored two more goals in the second half before Mabton rallied for a goal in the 72nd minute on a penalty kick booted by Soila Zaragoza.
Warden added an insurance goal a few minutes later to wrap up the win.
Keeper Maryellen Gutierrez had four saves for Mabton, which had nine shots on goal.
For Garcia, she can't help but think what might have been after last night's non-call.
"I feel robbed today. It could have been a game changer," she says.
At the same time, she said her team made two key errors on defense last night that helped lead to two of Warden's four goals. "We had two errors but overall played pretty well," she said.
Also, in talking to her team after the match, Garcia says the focus wasn't on the non-call, but on looking ahead. "We didn't dwell on it," she said.
Mabton (2-3, 3-6) plays a non-league match at Granger tomorrow, Saturday.