Tigers on the brink: Green Forest dominates on the way to Class 3A state final

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Green Forest senior Bryant Escobar controls the ball in the Tigers’ first-round game against Riverview in the Class 3A state tournament in Harrison.
Charles Chappell / CCImages.PhotoShelter.com

By Scott Loftis


The Green Forest Tigers are one win away from their second state soccer championship in six years.

The Tigers, who beat Central Arkansas Christian for the Class 4A crown in 2014, will face the Mustangs again this weekend in Fayetteville, this time for the Class 3A championship.

“Excited is not even the word,” Green Forest coach Ben West said of his team’s mood after outscoring their opponents 20-2 in the first three rounds to reach the championship game. “They’re beside themselves right now. They’re enjoying it.”

After rallying from a 1-1 tie at halftime for a 7-1 victory over Riverview in the first round of the tournament, the Tigers (16-1-2) shut out Cossatot River 7-0 on Friday and then cruised to a 6-1 victory over Harding Academy in a semifinal game on Saturday in Harrison.

Against Cossatot River, sophomore Lah Kpro scored three goals while classmate Emerson Ortiz added two. Freshman Andy Lopez also scored for the Tigers.

Ortiz had three goals against Harding Academy, while Pro, freshman Fredy Juarez Jr. and senior Randi Alvarado added a goal apiece.

West said one of the Tigers’ biggest strengths has been their team-first attitude.

“It’s just been a team effort all the way,” he said. “Just a lot of them work really well together.”

As of Monday afternoon, the day and time for the championship game had not been announced. West said he expected to learn more details later Monday.

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