Soccer Cats in another shutout, shootout

By MARTIN BRYANT | News-Telegram Correspondent

January 26, 2004 -- LONGVIEW -- The Sulphur Springs soccer team recorded another shutout in the pouring rain Saturday afternoon but lost in a shootout, 3-2. The Cats put forth another strong showing against Whitehouse but were unable to come away with the victory. The loss left SSHS in sixth place for the tournament.

Saturday's game in the final round of the Mud Dog Classic at Pine Tree High School was the fourth in five days for the Wildcats. Once again the defense was spectacular recording their third shutout in four games.

The SSHS defense was able to keep pressure off of the goalkeeper while only allowing six shots on goal. Head coach Andy Holt noted the defensive play of Brody Dyer, Nick Kennon, Layne Ashmore and Hunter Potts.

"Nick and Layne both had a solid game along with Brody," Holt said. "Hunter played well all weekend and made very few mistakes during the tournament."

Not to be overlooked was the play of Jeremy Potter who was filling in for an injured Aaron Ball at goalkeeper. Potter recorded his first varsity start and simultaneously his first varsity shutout.

"Jeremy did an excellent job today," Holt said. "These conditions are tough for a keeper and he stepped in for Aaron and played well."

Offensively, SSHS was unable to keep possession and capitalize on opportunities due to the inclement weather and stiff defensive pressure from Whitehouse.

Early in the game several hard fouls were overlooked and not until the 29th minute was a yellow card issued to a Whitehouse player for a dangerous tackle.

In the 60th minute Holt decided to rest his starters for district and in their absence a much younger Wildcat team preserved the shutout. Holt especially noted the play of Graham Northcutt at the sweeper position.

Both Timo Torres and Ashmore scored in the shootout for the Wildcats. Ashmore also played goalkeeper and recorded two saves. In any case the Wildcats should have plenty of practice at the Texas style shootout now that district opens this week.

In other tournament play Greenville defeated Jacksonville 2-1 in an earlier game while Corsicana was set to play Henderson in the third place game. District rival Mount Pleasant faced off against Pine Tree late Saturday for the championship. SSHS goalkeeper Aaron Ball received All-Tournament honors for his effort throughout the Mud Dog Classic.

The Cats (7-4-1) travel to Paris Tuesday for their district opener against the Lamar County Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. while the Wildcats district home opener will be Friday against Texas High.

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