The final hurde: State title on line for Tigers, Mustangs
By Scott Loftis
Five years after winning their first state soccer championship, the Green Forest Tigers are on the brink of a second title.
Standing in their way is a familiar opponent.
Green Forest will face Central Arkansas Christian in the Class 3A state championship game at noon Saturday at Razorback Field in Fayetteville. Itís a rematch of the 2014 Class 4A state final, which Green Forest won 4-1.
This yearís Tigers have had a stellar season, recording a record of 16-1-2. Green Forestís only loss came to Mountain Home, which reached the Class 5A state semifinals. Twice, the Tigers played to a tie with Class 4A Berryville.
Green Forest has outscored its opponents 71-15, and the Tigers have been especially dominant in the first three rounds of the state tournament. After their first-round match against Riverview was tied 1-1 at halftime, the Tigers went on to a 7-1 victory in that game and then beat Cossatot River 7-0 in the second round and Harding Academy 6-1 in the semifinals.
CAC (14-3) has won 12 consecutive games after starting the season 2-3. The Mustangs have outscored their three state tournament opponents by a combined 12-1.
Junior captain Bryant Escobar and sophomores Emerson Ortiz and Lah Kpro have been Green Forestís top scorers in the state tournament. Escobar had four goals against Riverview and five total in three games. Ortiz scored three times against Harding Academy and six times altogether, while Kpro had a hat trick against Cossatot River and scored once against Harding Academy.