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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

By Scott Loftis


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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