|Wildcats suffer first district loss to Mount Pleasant|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
March 1, 2006 - In the second game of a back-to-back scenario, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats experienced many different situations against the Mount Pleasant Tigers in a 2-1 shootout loss Tuesday night at Gerald Prim Stadium.
With three scoring chances nullified in the first half by offside calls, a missed penalty kick, a 16-minute wait due to a power outage on the southeast side, and a late scoring chance by Daniel Santillan stopped by a diving Francisco Medina, SSHS (16-3, 7-1) lost the match but still has a two-point lead over the Tigers for first place in District 13-4A.
"It was a tough game with a lot of playoff excitement to the game," said Wildcat coach Andy Holt. "I think we came out dead in the second half and that is why they were able to score their goal, and then we battled back and found the back of the net late in the second half."
With 38:15 remaining in the second half, MPHS forward Juan Olvera gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead on a shot that found the back of the net past Wildcat goalie Jeremy Potter.
But the Wildcats found a way to tie the game up with 11:50 remaining in the game on a spectacular scoring chance.
Chad Rocker came streaking down the left side of the field and slid to recover the ball before it went out of play. As he went to kick the ball it went underneath the arms of Medina and trickled into the back of the net from 18-yards out to tie the game at 1-1.
"Chad did an outstanding job of hustling down there and when you shoot you never know what is going to happen," the coach said.
Santillan had two scoring chances stopped in the second half and with seven minutes left nailed a bullet towards the right post but Medina was on the spot with a nice diving save to preserve the tie.
Holt said after the lights went out on the field, the Wildcats lost focus for the final 9:29 of regulation.
"It kind of seemed like it because that is when we had our momentum going in that last 15 minutes, but that is something that nobody can control," he said.
Early in the game, Sulphur Springs had a scoring opportunity as Blake Holly received a pass from Santillan inside the 18-yard box, but before Holly could get the shot off he was taken down by a Mount Pleasant defender. Chris Rodgers took the penalty kick but went straight on with the shot and was deflected by the goalie.
In the shootout, Mount Pleasant's Clint Foster found the back of the net past Potter to give them the 2-1 advantage.
Sulphur Springs went with Blake Holly, Rodgers, Santillan, Rolando Larios and Spenser Daniel for the shootout and Holt said they were at a disadvantage in the shootout.
"We haven't practiced it very much but in that type of situation I think it favors the keeper and maybe when we get in that situation again we will be ready for it," he said.
Sulphur Springs now prepares for Commerce on Friday night and Holt said the Wildcats need to finish the season at 6-0 in district to be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
"We need to clean sweep and win every game and we will be in the playoffs. We did a good job in the first half of the season in doing that and now we need to do that in the second half," the coach said.
"I think the Commerce game will be a game where we will play well and be able to spread the field and get the ball in the back of the net."