Wildcats lose district opener to Paris

By JIMMY ROGERS | News-Telegram Correspondent

Jan. 31, 2007 - PARIS - The inability to finish seven shots on goal in the final 15 minutes of play Tuesday night cost Wildcat soccer its first district game of the season.

The Sulphur Springs Wildcats (0-1, 3-4) lost for the first time since 1998 to the Paris Wildcats (1-0, 7-3) in a 2-1 match on the Paris pitch.

�We made some pretty foolish mistakes,� SSHS head coach Andy Holt said, �I don't know if it was the cold weather or what, but we've got to make better clearances.�

The aggressive play of Paris was evident from the start. Sulphur Springs put the ball in play as they sent the ball back to defenders to begin building the attack. However, Paris junior Austin Cunningham ran through the second pass by the Cat defensive line and, although he did not muster a shot on goal, did manage to stymie the opening sequence.

�We didn't come out and play well," Holt observed. "I just didn't have them ready.�

Paris struck first with 32:34 showing on the first half clock when junior Justin Frazer picked up his first of two goals for the evening when a ball bounced into the middle of the 18-yard box and he put it away.

Sulphur Springs increased its attack immediately. No one followed up a junior Tate Ramirez cross to the front of the goal with 28:27 left in the first half. A Cat throw-in at the 25:40 mark resulted in a Paris handball, but Paris defenders deflected senior Rolando Larios' direct kick.

Again, with 20:30 showing, a shot from center was caught by Paris goalie Colt Redus. Redus stopped another attempt less than a minute later. Paris' offense managed the next three shots on goal including a corner kick.

The lone Cat goal came with 12:07 left in the half when junior Oscar Marroquin lofted one over the goalie's head.

In the final 10 minutes of the half, Sulphur Springs out-shot Paris 6-2. In the final minute of play, Larios missed the far post by inches at the 52-second mark and junior Zach Junot put up a shot that was caught by the Paris goalie at the whistle ending the half.

Paris' second goal of the evening came with 17:13 showing on the clock when Frazer, who plays predominately to his right foot, picked up a left footed junk goal as the ball rolled to his feet in the face of the goal while Sulphur Springs goalie junior Marrio Arellano and other defenders were near the right post where the Paris attack was heaviest.

After the game, Coach Holt said he thought a defender had been fouled during the play but said, “We've got to adjust to that and play through that kind of atmosphere. It was a physical game tonight.”

Holt then put in a third forward to aid the Sulphur Springs attack. Seven shots later, Holt said, “We just didn't finish.” The final opportunity to tie the game came with 28 seconds on the clock when Larios sent one just over the crossbar.

The Wildcats will seek their first District 16-4A win Friday night on the Prim pitch when they host Texarkana Pleasant Grove. � �

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