Soccer Cats remain solidly in second with win over Pitt

From Staff Reports

Feb. 13, 2008 - PITTSBURG - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats continued to put some separation between the top of the district soccer standings and the teams below them with a 2-1 victory Tuesday over Pittsburg.

The Wildcats (4-1, 12 points) have strong hold on second place in 16-4A, three points behind Mount Pleasant (5-0, 15 points). Paris, North Lamar, Texas High and Pittsburg are within three points of each other for third place.

The Wildcats have an important home game on Friday when they host fourth-place North Lamar (2-2-1-0, eight points). Beating a solid Pittsburg squad (2-3, six points) was also important for the Wildcats, said head coach Andy Holt.

"It's definitely different than it has been the past few years," he said of the balance of power in the district. "This year, every team is competing. I think Liberty-Eylau is the only team having a tough go of it. I think Pittsburg is a pretty solid team that can give some teams a fit.

"Every team is competing, and I think it's going to make us better when we move into the playoffs."

The Wildcats got a goal and an assist from Tate Ramirez on Tuesday to account for their scores. In the first half, Ramirez sent a corner kick toward the goal, but the Pittsburg keeper ran into one of his own players, and when the ball popped up, junior Bailey Booher headed it in to break the scoreless tie.

"We created several opportunities in the first half," Holt explained. "We had six corners in the first half, so we were putting the pressure on and creating opportunities."

Pittsburg tied it up early in the second half on a breakaway goal, but the Wildcats responded.

Sixty minutes in, the Wildcats got the go-ahead goal when Omar Ortiz played a ball into the corner and Zach Junot ran through the ball, one-timing it over to Ramirez, who finished it at the end of a back door run.

The Wildcats' lead held up, thanks in part to the defensive effort of left back Chris White, who stepped in for an ill Rodrigo Larios, and sweeper Jesus Torres.

"Jesus Torres played the best game of the season at sweeper," Holt said. "I think he's starting to figure it out and getting in the right spots."

The Wildcats will host North Lamar on Friday at Gerald Prim Stadium. The JV game will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow at about 7:15.

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