FORNEY – The Sulphur Springs Wildcats got just enough offensive and more than enough defense Tuesday night to notch a bi-district soccer playoff win over the Carrollton Creekview Mustangs.
The Wildcats used two first-half goals from midfielder Jose Garcia and didn’t allow a shot on goal in the first 55 minutes of the contest to take a 2-1 victory at City Bank Stadium.
The area playoff game is set for Friday vs. Frisco Liberty at 7:30 p.m in Frisco.
With the defensive back line of Erick Robles, Juan Gomez and Nazario Arellano keeping the Mustang offense in check, Creekview managed just two shots on goal for the entire game. Though a late offensive push by Creekview kept the ball near the Sulphur Springs goal for the final 7-10 minutes of the game, the Mustangs simply couldn’t penetrate the Wildcats’ active and physical defense.
“They didn’t do a whole lot in their offensive third, our defensive third. That’s one thing you preach defensively is that once they get in that area, they don’t get anything easily,” said SSHS head coach And Holt, whose team improved its record to 18-3-5. “We made that happen tonight. We made it tough on them defensively, and didn’t let them penetrate.”
The Wildcats had some breathing room thanks in large part to Garcia, who scored the team’s only two goals.
His first score came in the opening five minutes of the game when he banged the ball into the net from 10 yards out on the left side. Garcia’s second goal came at the 11:12 mark of the first half when he hit a shot from the numbers 20 yards out on the right side that curved into the upper half of the net on the left side.
“Jose Garcia did a great job of controlling the game, and of course his two goals were the difference,” Holt said. “The first half, I thought we played really well. We controlled the game in the first half.”
The Wildcats controlled the first part of the second half as well before Creekview’s Spencer Soles was able to clean up a ball that got loose from the Sulphur Springs defense about 10 yards in front of the goal and knocked it in at the 25:22 mark of the second half. That cut the Wildcat lead to 2-1 and gave the Mustangs new life.
Ironically, it was Creekview’s first shot on goal of the game.
“They didn’t have a shot in the first half,” Holt confirmed. “It was a tale of two halves, really. The second half, we just didn’t have a whole lot in the tank. Maybe that was it, or maybe they got energized after that one goal. But then we played extremely well at the end when we had to. There weren’t many shots. “
The Wildcats were limited to nine shots on goal, five in the first half when senior Tony Bravo tried a bicycle kick from 15 yards away that the goal keeper was able to corral midway through the half.
The Wildcats had another opportunity at the 18-minute mark of the second half when Samuel Gallegos was fouled from behind 19 yards out. The set kick taken by Garcia, though, went wide left.
“We were hoping to score a few more,” Holt said, “but we made those two goals stand up.”
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