|Wildcats soccer wins in shootout|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
March 2, 2005 -MOUNT PLEASANT - With the top two teams in District 13-4A play battling for a possible district soccer championship Tuesday, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats gave themselves some much needed breathing room with five games to play.
They needed a shootout to make it happen.
Senior captain Spenser Daniel sealed the deal with the game-winning goal past Mount Pleasant goalie Salvador Tejada for a 4-3 win at Sam Parker Field.
"I thought we played well, but at times we were playing real defensively and we knew going in that if we tied or won that it would help us move on to district championship," SSHS coach Andy Holt said.
The Wildcats (14-6 overall, 8-0 in district, 23 points) hold a four-point lead over the second-place Tigers (6-2 in district, 19 points) and will play Commerce Friday night at Gerald Prim Stadium. Game time is 7:15 p.m. following junior varsity action.
Blake Holly gave SSHS the lead with 27:10 remaining on the clock as a Mount Pleasant defender was unable to clear the ball out after Tejada was unable to get back in goal after coming out on the play as Holly blasted the ball from 18 yards out.
"We had a great combination play between Brent (Holly) and Wilson Jones, and then Brent was able to play it over to Blake and the goalie was unable to make a play on the ball," the coach said. "Blake hit the ball so well that it just kept rolling. The defender tried to make a play on the ball, but it was too late because it was already in the goal."
For the second straight meeting between the two teams, the game was physical as Sulphur Springs was issued three yellow cards, which led to Mount Pleasant's game-tying goal with 16:49 remaining in the first half.
After Sulphur Springs first yellow card of the game was handed out in the penalty box, Tejada scored the penalty kick goal past Wildcat goalie Jeremy Potter to tie the game at 1-1.
"I thought they got fortunate on the penalty kick call because our guy got all ball on the play but those are the breaks that are going to happen and you have to learn to overcome those and play ball," Holt said.
In the shootout period, Sulphur Springs jumped out to a 3-1 lead when Holly and Timo Torres blasted goals past Tejada, but Mount Pleasant cut the deficit when David Saldivar sent one past Potter.
Cesar Martinez rounded out the scoring for the Tigers on a nice cross past Potter for the 4-3 final.
Holt said his top performers in the game were Holly, Wilfredo Larios, Potter and John Fox. Hunter Potts, and David Miranda were solid on defense.
"Blake Holly played well for us tonight and I thought that Wilfredo Larios put a lot of pressure on them up front, and Fox, Potts and Miranda did a solid job on defense," the coach said. "Jeremy Potter had a solid game in goal for us tonight."
With five games remaining in the district season, Holt said one big area that the Wildcats need to improve is controlling the ball better than they did against Mount Pleasant in preparation for the playoffs.
"We need to possess the ball better because at times we were able to possess the ball but then at other times we were just kicking the ball up the field and that is what we are going to be working on the next couple of games," Holt said.
In other District 13-4A action, Pleasant Grove defeated Liberty-Eylau 6-0, Paris beat North Lamar 4-2, and Texas High beat Commerce 3-0.