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Vaqueros win 2018 season opener away to Houston Regals

By VFC, 05/06/18, 2:00AM CDT

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HOUSTON _ Vaqueros winger Jamie Lovegrove suffered a busted and bloody nose but still gutted out a goal and an assist to pace the Vaqueros to a 2-0 road victory.

The 2018 season opener featured a solid performance for the Vaqueros (1-0, 3 points) against a gritty Houston Regals (0-1, 0 points) side.

“The boys played well tonight,” Lovegrove said. “We held together as a team and were able to collect both the victory and the shutout, so we’ll take that to start the year.”

Fort Worth opened the scoring in the 8th minute as outside back Rio Ramirez found Lovegrove up the line. Lovegrove then connected with first year forward Kalle Sone for the cool finish to put the Vaqueros up 1-0 early.

The Vaqueros enjoyed the better of possession and play for the remainder of the first half before Lovegrove struck a potential goal of the week candidate.

Lovegrove struck a bending deadball from about 28 yards out to give Fort Worth the 2-0 lead in the 43rd minute.

The game opened up a bit in the second half but the Vaqueros preserved the shutout behind a pair of late saves from Fort Worth goalkeeper Marko Jovanovic.

The Regals finished the match with nine players after a pair of ejections in the final 10 minutes.

Vaqueros coach Nick Stavrou returns for his second season with Fort Worth.

“We can always learn from a match and find ways to improve,” Stavrou said. “Regals are always a determined side so we have to be pleased to pick up three points on the road to start the season.”

Fort Worth returns to action on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup against NTX Rayados at 7 p.m. at Richland College in a match free for all fans.