Season openers for the 2016 prep soccer season were unkind to the Hillcrest Hornets and Logan-Rogersville Wildcats. Earlier this week the Hornets were stung by Waynesville 9-0 and the Wildcats lost a close 2-0 confrontation to Branson.
But Thursday night, in Logan-Rogersville, the Wildcats bounced back to pick up a 4-0 victory over, who else, but the Hillcrest Hornets. With the win the Cats evened up their record to 1-1. The Bees fell to 0-2.
"Our staff was really happy to see the kids pick up the win," said assistant Wildcat coach Pablo Rosales. "I think the victory will go a long way to help motivate them to keep getting better."
Both teams played even throughout much of the first period but with 21.41 left on the clock the Wildcat's Austin Revels struck gold. Revels finished off a Ryan Christopher corner kick that the Hornets couldn't handle to score Logan-Rogersville's first goal of the year. The Wildcats were out in front 1-0.
But the Cats weren't finished yet. Oscar Marten followed Revels heroics driving the ball into the net at the 14:25 mark to run the score up to 2-0.
"Jack Gold passed the ball to Ryan, who split two defenders, then got the ball to me," said Marten. "I was able to drive the ball in the goal from about ten yards out."
The Wildcats closed out their 4-0 victory over the Horners with two more scores in the second period. Both goals would come only one minute and four seconds apart and both came via Luke Willard.
Willard scored the Cat's third goal at 28:08 and their fourth at 27:04.
"Oscar got fouled in the box and I got to take the penalty shot. I took the ball to the right side of the goal for the score," Willard said. "My second goal came on a shot to the left corner of the net."
Although being saddled for their second defeat of the season Hornet head coach Denys Hansen said he is proud of the effort his kids showed on the field.
"We're a very young and inexperienced ball club," Hansen said in assessing his team's performance. "The kids work hard in practice every day but taking the field for a game is very different. We just need lots more playing time to gain the experience we need to be competitive."
Hansen, who calls himself an eternal optimist, sees better things ahead for his troops.
"They always play hard, even in defeat. We can build on that- we'll get better," said the Hillcrest coach.
As for the Wildcats, well, they think there's still a lot of hard work ahead for them to get to where they want to be.
"We're really happy with our win today," said Marten. "But honestly I think we could have played better- especially with our passing and positioning."
"While our coaches were happy we won they didn't get ecstatic," added Willard. "They told us we need to get back to work and get ready for the next one."
Game Results 1 2 F
Hillcrest 0 0 0
Logan- Rog. 2 2 4