Moving On Up: Soccer Cats have a shot at district title after Mount Pleasant stumbles

From Staff Reports

March 12, 2008 - PARIS - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats had already clinched second place in the District 16-4A soccer standings before they played North Lamar on Tuesday.

Now, they could even have a shot at the district championship.

The Wildcats defeated North Lamar 4-3, while at the same time Texas High beat Mount Pleasant 3-2 in a shootout. That puts SSHS (11-2 in district) just one point behind Mount Pleasant with one regular season game remaining.

The Wildcats host winless Liberty-Eylau on Friday. An SSHS win over the Leopards means that if North Lamar beats Mount Pleasant, then Sulphur Springs will be the district champion and receive a first-round playoff bye. If Mount Pleasant wins, then the Tigers receive the playoff bye because they hold the tie-breaker, having beaten SSHS twice this season.

Sulphur Springs made the district championship scenario possible on Tuesday by holding off North Lamar in a foul-filled match.

"It was an entertaining game," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "It was back-and-forth. Our guys went out and played well."

The Wildcats started off the scoring, as Jesus Torres, who normally plays in the defensive back, got involved in a set kick that was headed down by Zach Junot. Torres ran onto it put it in a for a 1-0 lead. Torres later got shook up and may not play on Friday.

The lead didn't last long as North Lamar put in two goals before the Wildcats could answer. Tate Ramirez tied the score at 2-2 when he took advantage of a penalty kick after Leo Becerra was fouled in the 18-yard box.

Sulphur Springs took the lead for good just 30 seconds into the second half when Junot was able to draw the keeper out and then knock the ball by him for a 3-2 SSHS advantage. Oscar Marroquin made it 4-2 when he got behind the defense and scored his second goal in two games.

"I think Oscar's really coming on right now and playing well and making things happen as we get ready for the playoffs, and that's key for us," Holt said.

North Lamar scored a goal late to "make it more interesting than it probably should have been," the coach said."The guys played well - well enough to win the game, and that's what we talked about in the beginning. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game."

The Wildcats have three consecutive victories in a four-day span and will have about a week to rest up after Friday's regular season finale.

"It's going to be good because we can heal," Holt explained. "We played three games in four days. To recover from that and get healed up for the playoff game will be good for us."

NOTES: Paris locked down the third and final playoff spot on Tuesday by beating Pittsburg 2-1 in a shootout. ... Sulphur Springs will have Senior Night activities on Friday before playing Liberty-Eylau.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008