Tigers get first win of the year

Friday, April 6, 2018

Green Forest soccer coach Jonathan Bryant stressed the importance of getting off to a strong start once conference play started. The Tigers' first conference match had to be postponed because of weather, but Bryant hopes Friday's 5-1 victory at Prairie Grove will be the spark his team needs moving forward.

"We played some great ball," Bryant said. "We had a lot of touches and just looked really good."

The Tigers decided to make another change at goalie, giving Rafael Rosales a chance. Rosales saved eight of nine shots he faced.

"It was probably the first time in two years that he had played goalie at a competitive level," Bryant said. "He didn't do too bad. They scored the first goal of the game. I think it kind of caught him off guard a little bit. He wasn't quite ready for it. They went near post on him and I think he thought they were going to the far post because his reaction was off. After that he settled down and made some great saves."

Edson Merida scored three goals for Green Forest and Fredy Ortiz and Caesar Lopez each added one. Jose Hernandez had three assists and Randi Alvarado and Lopez each had one.

"I didn't know how we were going to react when they scored first," Bryant said. "In games past, when someone else has scored first, we either got mad and played better or put our heads down and take it on the chin. They got mad and played tons better. We moved the ball around well. We had great passing. Great communication on the field, we were even communicating with the goalie. We looked how we should have been looking from the beginning of the year. It was good seeing us play a complete game. If we don't have seven offsides penalties, we win the game 9-1."

Despite getting the first win of the season, Bryant knows there are areas his team needs to get better in.

"We had seven offsides penalties," Bryant said. "That is something we have to get fixed. We have to work on that and it comes back to me. We have to play to where we aren't just looking to take the ball and run. We have to play touch and play possession. We have to move with and without the ball."

On Wednesday, Green Forest will make up last week’s home match with Bergman. The match is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

"I don't even know if that match is going to happen because I'm not sure how much water our field can handle," Bryant said. "It's supposed to rain today and tomorrow, so we will see. And then we are supposed to go to Eureka Springs on Thursday. I'm not sure what their field is like, but I know it's low, so it might be under water. Who knows about the rest of this week and how much we will get to play. We would like to because if we have to reschedule, it's tough."

Escobar had 12 steals and Ortiz had 10. Bryant encourages fans to show up and support the Tigers.

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