Soccer Cats notch first victory of season against Whitehouse

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 12, 2008 - LONGVIEW - Sulphur Springs was winless against Whitehouse this year in various sports. The soccer Cats put an end to that streak on Friday.

The SSHS boys held Whitehouse scoreless and notched their first win of the young season in the process, taking a 1-0 victory in pool play of the Chick-Fil-A Tournament hosted by Pine Tree.

That victory gave the Wildcats a 1-1-1 record in their pool and set them up to play in the bracket round Friday evening. Results of that match were not available at press time.

Against Whitehouse - who beat the SSHS boys twice in football and once in basketball this school year - the Wildcats got a strong effort from midfielders Tate Ramirez, Omar Ortiz and defender Bailey Booher, a shutout from goalie Mario Arellano and the second goal in two games by his younger brother Jesus Arellano.

It provided the Wildcats with a needed victory after losing a 2-1 game to Jacksonville Friday morning.

"You could tell after the game that we were pretty excited about it. They had a nice sigh of relief and just happy to get that under our belt," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "The main thing is we played well. I thought we did a better job of controlling the ball and doing the things we talked about doing."

The Wildcats were able to cash in their goal late in the first half when Jesus Arellano was able to control a cross sent by Ortiz and then held off a defender long enough to shoot a left-footed goal into the corner of the net from 10 yards out.

The Wildcat defense made the slim lead stand up by turning away several long throw-ins in the second half. Mario Arellano cleared one that was headed onto the cross bar, Ramirez and Booher each headed out two other attempts, and Arellano had a two-handed save on Whitehouse's final shot.

"Whitehouse had a good look early, but after that, the only real shots they had were from long distance," Holt said. "I thought their serious threats were on the long throws, and we defended that well. Against Poteet in the scrimmage, we gave up three goals on the long throws. So, it looks like we're understanding what we need to do on those and defending them."

He added that the key was the play of the Wildcats in the middle.

"We came out and played well the entire game against Whitehouse," Holt explained. "In the middle, Tate and Omar Ortiz played very well this afternoon. You go as your midfield goes, and hopefully those guys will continue to gel.

"I thought Bailey Booher came in and played well today. He didn't play this morning, but we put him in this afternoon and he played well."

Against Jacksonville, the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead on Arellano's goal, but gave up two goals after that in suffering their first loss of the season.

The Wildcats return to action on Monday when they travel to Dallas to take on Hillcrest. JV action starts at 5:30 p.m.

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