Neosho used an early goal in both the first and second halves to spark the Wildcats to a 3-1 win over McDonald County in the opening round of the Missouri Class 3, District 12, Soccer Tournament on Oct. 30 at Carl Junction High School.
"We gave up a soft goal early in the match and had to play from behind," said coach John DeLaTorre. "I thought we came out a little timid and scared to do anything because we were worried about making a mistake instead of coming out and playing."
Neosho junior Dylan Collins got open down the right side of the field and went unchallenged until he fired in a shot from just outside the penalty box just over a minute into the match to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
McDonald County goalie Arturo Morales kept the Mustangs close for the rest of the first half, saving six shots in the first 40 minutes, while the Mustangs were only able to come up with three shots in the first half.
Neosho started the second half much as it did the first, scoring on a header by sophomore Diego Vargas about two and a half minutes into the second half.
But McDonald County got one of those goals back with 30 minutes left in the match when junior Jeobany Marcos headed in a corner kick from fellow junior Eh Doh Say.
Neosho maintained its 2-1 lead until the 18th minute when Vargas added an insurance goal for the Wildcats.
"When we got down 2-0, it was an uphill battle from there," DeLaTorre said. "We were able to claw one back, but time wasn't on our side. We had to push forward late to generate some offense and gave up a third goal. The kids played hard, but we aren't a very good cold and rainy type of team. We played good a big portion of the game, but we struggled coming out to open the game and at the start of the second half."
McDonald County finishes the season with an 8-8-1 record in DeLaTorre's first year as head coach of the Mustangs.
"I thought the kids showed a lot of growth this year," DeLaTorre said. "We are thankful for the seniors (Robin Bail, Francisco Jasso and Jose Valdez) and the time they put in. We have a big junior class that was a big part of our team this year that we are looking forward to having back next year."
Neosho beat Webb City, 3-2, for the district championship to advance to this week's sectional match against Parkview on Nov. 6 at Neosho.Sports on 11/08/2018
Print Headline: Neosho Scores Early To Keep Lead From Mustangs