Bobcats beat Subiaco to keep season going

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Berryville's Sergio Escobar dribbles around a Siloam Springs defender.
Charles Chappell /

The Berryville Bobcats knew a spot in the Class 4A state tournament was on the line heading into Friday night's game at Subiaco Academy. Goals by Luis Tovar, Sergio Escobar and Nathan Engel helped ensure a 3-2 victory and a trip to Batesville this week.

"We tried to lose that game on Friday, but we pulled it out," Berryville coach Joey Curtis said. "We were up 3-1 and we let them score one more goal with about 12 minutes left. You could tell we tensed up and we didn't play as well after that, but we held on."

Berryville led 2-1 at halftime and scored again to take a two goal lead with 30 minutes remaining in the match. When the Trojans scored to close the Bobcats’ lead to 3-2, Curtis began thinking back to a game two years ago.

"Two years ago it was the same situation," Curtis said. "We went to (Subiaco) with state on the line. We were up 2-0 at half. We let them come back and lost in PK's. When they scored that second goal, it all started creeping back into the players' minds, but our seniors and that senior leadership having been there and done that, it helped us prevail."

When Curtis first started coaching the soccer program, this year's seniors were freshmen. Curtis is glad he is able take Antonio Galdamez, Sam Muia, Jesse Diaz, Marco Garcia, Tovar and Escobar to the state tournament for a final time.

"I'm pretty close to these guys," Curtis said. "This will be their third time going to the state tournament, which is pretty cool."

Berryville will play Warren on Thursday in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament in Batesville.

"I'm going to get some film on them later today," Curtis said. "According to Maxpreps, they are 16-3. They have been one of the top teams in the state over the last couple of years. We have got our work cut out for us, but it's definitely a winnable game for us."

The match is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Berryville 3, Huntsville 1

Every team wants to finish the regular season with a win, just as the Lady Bobcats did on Friday night. Berryville had hoped to keep Huntsville without a goal, though, completing Berryville goalkeeper Amber Veach’s feat of not allowing a goal in a conference match this season.

"Amber was disappointed she gave up a goal," Berryville coach Aaron Hall said. "She was trying to go undefeated in the conference without giving up a goal. It's extremely impressive to go through conference and only give up one."

Vicky Villatoro scored the first Berryville goal eight minutes into the match. Maryn Jones gave Berryville a 2-0 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.

"Huntsville is a physical, well-coached team," Hall said. "We got the win. It was a successful conference season for us and now we are moving on."

The Lady Eagles scored with 30 minutes remaining in the match and after multiple opportunities by the Lady Bobcats, Jones put one in the back of net with 18 seconds remaining to clinch the match.

The Lady Bobcats will play E-Stem on Thursday in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament in Batesville.

"We will head down Wednesday and hope for the best," Hall said. "We are excited about it."

The match is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

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