Sulphur Springs played shutout defense in the second half, taking a 3-1 home win over Princeton in district action Thursday at Gerald Prim Stadium.
The game was close and intense throughout. Each team battling for position and scoring tries.
“We did not come out and play well in the first 10-15 minutes,” said Andy Holt, Sulphur Springs head boys soccer coach. “It was good to see our guys respond the way we did. We could have laid down and quit, but we came out swinging.”
Finally with 2:02 left on the second half, the Wildcats got the final goal - an assist from Leo Sanchez to Josue Roque - to get a 3-1 lead and some breathing room, securing the win.
Princeton opened the scoring in the game with a rebound off the post for goal with 29:35 left in the first half.
The Panthers had a 1-0 lead, but would be held out of the net for the rest of the game by stellar Sulphur Springs defense.
Down 1-0, the Wildcats immediately moved to tie the contest.
Dela Rosa missed a close range try with the Princeton goal out of position. Andy Green had a good shot on goal, but was held out.
Princeton defense was causing problems for the Wildcats, but the home team found an opening and made the most of it.
With 17:09 left in the first half, a corner kick by Roque was booted in by Green to deadlock the game at 1-all.
Green had two other chances that were well-defended. DeLa Rosa had two shots on goal saved by the Princeton keeper as the first half ended in a 1-all tie.
Sulphur Springs got the lead in the first two minutes of the second half and played inspired soccer before the chilly home fans.
Dela Rosa moved in close for the shot, then booted a lightning quick strike to the net to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.
Sulphur Springs had other scoring opportunities with good passing. Rendall Van Benthem, Juan Gomez and Sanchez made good plays.
The Wildcat defense, powered by Moises Torres in goal, continued to play well allowing no goals.
The Roque goal with 2:02 left nailed the lid down on a 3-1 win by the Wildcats over district rival Princeton.
The Wildcats (5-1 in district) have Senior Night set today against another tough district rival Paris at 6-0.
The junior varsity game begins at 5:30 p.m. Senior activities will be held at 6:45 p.m. prior to the varsity game.
Holt said, “We have now set ourselves up for a chance to play for a district championship. We have to beat Paris tonight in regulation to give us a chance. They are in first place right now and we are in second place. If we win tonight we will be tied for first with Paris with one game to go.”
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