Mustangs Fall Short In District
Neosho broke a 1-1 halftime score with two goals early in the second half and then had to hold on for a 3-2 win over McDonald County in the Missouri Class 3 District 12 Boys’ Soccer Tournament on Oct. 24 at Neosho High
Neosho broke a 1-1 halftime score with two goals early in the second half and then had to hold on for a 3-2 win over McDonald County in the Missouri Class 3 District 12 Boys’ Soccer Tournament on Oct. 24 at Neosho High School.
Neosho took a 1-0 lead at the 24:38 mark of the first half on a goal by Brian Perez.
McDonald County tied the game at 1-1 with six minutes left before intermission when Carlos Marcos knocked in a free kick from 30 yards out from along the left sideline.
But Neosho took the lead for good just five minutes into the second half on a header by Yahir Ruiz off a corner kick. The Wildcats added an all-important insurance goal four minutes later on Perez’s second goal of the match.
McDonald County’s Eh Doh Say cut the lead to 3-2 with 6:40 left in the match on a missile from 25 yards out in front of the Neosho goal.
McDonald County had a couple of opportunities in the final six minutes, but Neosho kept the Mustangs from getting a quality shot on goal.
“I thought we played really well,” said coach James Carter. “It’s really difficult to go down 3-1 and score a goal that late. I told the guys, if the roles had been reversed, I don’t think anybody else would have had the heart to do that. Down 3-1 to a really good team in a district game, it would have been easy to give up. Our kids don’t do that because that is just not who they are. We got a late goal and had a couple of chances at the end. It was a tough loss and the kids took it hard.”
Neosho recorded 16 shots in the match, while the Mustangs had 11. McDonald County goalie Arturo Morales had seven saves, including a couple of diving stops in the second half that gave the Mustangs a chance for the upset.
McDonald County finishes the
season with a 6-11 record, just one win short of tying the school record of seven wins which was set in the program’s first year in the fall of 2015.
“It’s pretty simple to see our improvement when you compare scores from this year and the first two years of common opponents,” Carter said. “That’s a testament to the guys and how hard they work. They are very coachable and that is what happens when you’re older and more experienced. Even so, we still had seven or eight freshman or sophomores on the field against Neosho. That is crazy and it is not true of any other team. If these guys buy in and work hard in the offseason, when they are juniors and seniors it will be their time. I think we will continue to improve.
“The next step, instead of getting close against some of these good teams, is to beat one of them. That is the next step. A lot of times in athletics you want to skip a step — of going from not really being able to compete to beating them — and it just doesn’t work like that. We have gone from where these teams would just handle us to where we are competing every game. Our hope was to skip a step, but that is just not the case. It was a really good year; we just have to build on what we did this year. This was by far the best team we have ever had as far as talent goes and as well as how they got along. We really hammered the kids on being committed and disciplined and I think that really showed.”
“It was a really good year; we just have to build on what we did this year. This was by far the best team we have ever had as far as talent goes and as well as how they got along. We really hammered the kids on being committed and disciplined and I think that really showed.”
MHS Soccer Coach
McDonald County’s Jeobany Marcos (left) and teammate Eh Doh Say try to get around Neosho’s Diego Vargas during the Mustangs’ 3-2 loss on Oct. 24 in the opening round game of the Missouri Class 3 District 12 Boys Soccer Tournament at Neosho High School.
McDonald County’s Jaw Di gets past Neosho’s Cesar Piedrasanta during Neosho’s 3-2 win on Oct. 24 in district soccer action at Neosho High School.