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story.lead_photo.caption RICK PECK/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS McDonald County's Brian Lopez goes up to settle a pass during the Mustangs' 2-1 loss to New Covenant Academy on Sept. 1 in the championship game of the Cassville High School Soccer Tournament.

The McDonald County High School soccer team opened its 2018 season on a high note, taking second place at the Cassville High School Soccer Tournament after being edged out of the championship in a penalty kick loss to New Covenant Academy on Sept. 1.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie at halftime in the championship match. Both teams had three shots on goal in the first 30 minutes. New Covenant had three corner kicks, while the Mustangs had two.

New Covenant got on the scoreboard first in the second half. The Warriors were awarded a free kick from outside the box after a foul on the Mustangs. The Warriors' Luke O'Dell lobbed a shot toward the McDonald County goal but, when a Mustang attempted to clear the ball from the area, he inadvertently knocked it into the McDonald County goal.

It took the Mustangs less than three minutes to score in New Covenant's goal. New Covenant goalie Ryan Rodgers misplayed a corner kick into the chest of McDonald County's Eh Doh Say who bumped it into the net to tie the score at 1-1 with 8:33 left in regulation.

Neither team was able to score in the final eight minutes, sending the match to penalty kicks.

New Covenant scored on its first penalty kick while McDonald County missed, giving the Warriors a 1-0 advantage after the first of five chances.

McDonald County goalie Arturo Garcia blocked the next three New Covenant shots, but McDonald County did not score until Malachi Smith evened the score at 1-1 after four kicks by each team.

New Covenant scored its second goal on its fifth attempt, but Eh Doh Say tied the score with a goal on the Mustangs' final shot.

The match then went into sudden death. New Covenant freshman Josiah Barstead converted for the Warriors, while the Mustangs' attempt to tie was blocked, giving New Covenant the title.

"It was a hard-fought game," said McDonald County coach John Delatorre. "We came out a little sluggish in the first half. They were a bit all over us in the first half, but we were able to keep it 0-0. In the second half, we were a lot better. We had the majority of chances. We created a lot of opportunities and they didn't have a whole lot. We scored an own-goal but were able to come back and tie it up. In PKs, it's just the luck of the draw."

McDonald County opened the tournament with a pair of matches in pool play on Aug. 28.

The Mustangs claimed a 3-2 win over Fair Grove in its first match. Eh Doh Say had two goals, and Juan Quetzecua had the other.

In its second match of the day, McDonald County and Aurora ended in a 1-1 tie. Jeobany Marcos gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead early in the first half before Aurora came back in the second half to tie the match.

"We had a great start to the season," Delatorre said. "We are getting better every day. The kids are getting more confident every day and playing more as a unit. I thought it was a really good start to the season."

McDonald County faces Carl Junction on Sept. 6 in its home opener at MCHS. Game time is 5 p.m.

Sports on 09/06/2018

Print Headline: Mustang Soccer Takes Second At Tournament

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