2019's Top Sports Stories, No. 4: Tigers reach state soccer final

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

By Scott Loftis

CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

The Green Forest Tigers didn’t win the Class 3A boys state soccer championship last season, but they came awfully close.

Green Forest lost the state championship game 4-0 to Central Arkansas Christian on May 20 at Razorback Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The Tigers’ appearance in the state championship game is the No. 5 sports story in Carroll County for 2019.

CAC’s victory avenged a loss to Green Forest in the 2014 Class 4A title game.

The good news for Green Forest fans is that several talented players will return for the Tigers this season — perhaps with extra motivation after coming so close to another state title.

“We didn’t play well today,” Green Forest coach Ben West said after the loss. “We seemed to be a little bit scared.”

The Tigers rolled through the first three rounds of the state tournament, outscoring their opponents 20-2. Sophomore Lah Kpro scored three goals in a 7-0 victory over Cossatot River. Classmate Emerson Ortiz had two goals in that game and added three more in a 6-1 semifinal victory over Harding Academy.

West said the Tigers’ biggest strength all season was 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.”

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