Soccer Tigers ousted by Trojans in regional semifinals
The Green Forest soccer team made the most of its first year in high school competition, finishing second in the AAAA conference race behind defending state champ Harrison.
They kept that streak going with a 4-1 victory over Siloam Springs in the AAAA Region 1 tournament at the Millbrook Sports Complex in Harrison last weekend, but fell to the Subiaco Academy Trojans 2-0 on Monday in the semifinals to end their season at 10-3-1.
Subiaco lost to Harrison 2-0 in the finals on Tuesday.
"It was 0-0 at halftime, but we lost 2-0," Coach Marc McCutcheon said. "We had opportunities to score and didn't, and we missed some open shots.
"Our goalie, Darwin Lopez, got in a shoving match about two minutes before halftime, and he and a Subiaco player were ejected. There had been three warnings from the refs. We had to take a kid from the field to fill in."
Subiaco forward and leading scorer Rodrigo Escalante and Lopez were both given red cards and sent out of the game. Both teams had to play with 10 after that, but Lopez had had seven shutouts for the Tigers at goal, and that couldn't be replaced.
McCutcheon moved C.J. Matthews to goal, but Matthews had been hitting baseballs two weeks ago.
"We moved C.J. to goal, but most of the second half we were on our heels," McCutcheon said. "C.J. is a good athlete, came in late in the year and really helped us, and looked good in goal during practice. He made some saves in the game."
But Subiaco knew Matthews was a fill in, so they went at him hard the second half, while triple-teaming Tiger scorer Alberto Beas. Subiaco took six shots at Matthews in the first 15 minutes of the second half and finally got two to fall.
For the season, Coach McCutcheon said Allen Rangel and Beas played well, and Lopez was good in goal with seven shutouts. Trey Kerby did a good job on defense, and Adrian Sanchez, William Carmona, and Ernesto Pedraza did a good job handling the ball.
"We had 23 play for us this year, and Adrian Sanchez was our only senior," McCutcheon said. "Of those 23, 17 were ninth and 10th graders."
It was a successful first season for both the girls and boys, with a new group of athletes wearing Tiger red and white. The teams and coaches wanted to thank the student body for a great send-off for their final game, and their fans for the support this season.