Soccer Cats starting to mesh

SS places second at Longview tourney

From Staff Reports

Jan. 22, 2008 - LONGVIEW - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats came away with a second-place finish in the Gold Division of the Lobo Invitational soccer tournament on Saturday, and appear to be jelling in the final week before district.

After tying Longview on Thursday 2-2, the Wildcats then beat John Tyler 2-0 on Friday, tied a strong Robert E. Lee squad 1-1 on Saturday, then tied Lufkin 1-1 before taking the game to a sudden death shootout.

The highlight of the weekend was the Wildcats' strong showing against the two Tyler teams, said SSHS head coach Andy Holt.

"We held on 1-1 against Robert E. Lee, and that's a great result," Holt said. "I don't know if Sulphur Springs has ever tied or beaten Robert E. Lee. It was exciting to tie 1-1."

The Wildcats took a first-half lead on a goal by Cruz Lozano, who got behind the defense and "hit a nice volley backside," Holt recounted. "We went in trying to play good defense and counter because we knew they're a good team and a good program."

Lee tied the game on an unassisted goal in the second half. By tying, though, the Wildcats won their group and advanced to play Lufkin in the finals of the Gold Division.

The Wildcats actually scored on an on-goal, forcing the game into a shootout, where Tate Ramirez, Oscar Marroquin and Lozano scored. That put the game into sudden death, which was won by Lufkin.

On Friday, the Wildcats chalked up their second win of the season (2-2-4) with a 2-0 victory over John Tyler - who they host tonight at Gerald Prim Stadium.

Holt said the game was all about chances to score. The Lions didn't capitalize on theirs (thanks in large part to goal keeper Mario Arellano), while the Wildcats did.

"They had several opportunities to score and either Mario came up big or they missed them," Holt said. "I thought Mario played well.

"On the other side of it, when we had our opportunities, we finished. We didn't have a whole lot of shots, but when we did, we put it in the back of the net."

The Wildcats' scores both came courtesy of Omar Ortiz. The first was off an assist from Lozano, while the second was a header off a Victor Medina assist.

The Wildcats will have their home opener - and their final match before the start of District 16-4A play - against John Tyler today. The JV game will start at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow at 7 p.m.

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