Wildcats get sideways thumb from coach over Hillcrest match

From Staff Reports

Jan. 15, 2008 - DALLAS - Asked whether Monday's match against Dallas Hillcrest deserved a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, SSHS soccer coach Andy Holt gave a thumb-sideways.

"We lost, but we played well," he explained.

The Wildcats were outscored 3-1 by the Hillcrest Panthers at Franklin Field, but Holt said Hillcrest was the best team he's seen this year.

"That team was very good. They were very talented," Holt said. "They go to the playoffs and do well in the playoffs. I was impressed with the way our guys competed and played so well. We challenged them, made them work and fight and earn their points."

The Wildcats actually took a 1-0 lead 20 minutes into the match when senior midfielder Tate Ramirez found Cruz Lozano on the left side outside the 18-yard box.

"Cruz hit an unbelievable shot from 20-25 yards out on the left side. It had a nice little dip that dipped over the keeper," Holt said.

The Panthers tied the game before halftime when the ball squibbed off someone's knee inside the box and was punched into the net.

Tied 1-1 to start the second half, the Wildcats had a great chance to take the lead when Ramirez again sent a through ball to Lozano, who beat the keeper to the ball, but his kick went wide of the post.

Hillcrest then scored twice in the second half on ball misplayed by the SSHS defense and a then a missed header that gave the Panthers an open shot.

"We've got to work on those type of things," Holt said. "When you go up 1-0, you've got to be able to find a way to hold them off and find a way to win. That's something we've got to find a way to do, and I think we can. I think we're capable.

"We're solidifying our team and I like the way we're headed right now."

The Wildcats will play in the Longview tournament this weekend. The revised schedule has them taking on host Longview at 5 p.m. Thursday at Lobo Stadium. They will play John Tyler at 4 p.m. Friday and Robert E. Lee at 1 p.m. Saturday.

In a bit of good news, Holt expects senior Oscar Marroquin, a First Team All-District forward and the top returning scorer from last year, to be able to play this weekend after missing the team's first five games with a sprained ankle.

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