Tiger season ends in region opener
It was a valiant effort but the Marshall County Tigers were simply outmanned in a 7-3 loss to host Columbia Academy in the Region 6 A/AA semi-finals on Monday night.
The Bulldogs (15-2-1), the District 8 A/AA Champions, were first on the board on a goal by Kade Morgan on a penalty kick at the 22:11 mark in the first half.
Morgan struck again eight minutes later on a drive down the left sideline where he eluded the Tiger defense just long enough to punch a shot past Tiger goalie Jonathan Salinas' all out diving effort for a 2-0 advantage.
CA then took advantage of a ricochet shot off the post to net their third goal off the foot of Braden Davidson less than a minute later to bump the advantage to 3-0.
"It was important for us to score first, and build a lead," said CA coach Doug Williams. "When you play a good team, you don't want to fall behind. I thought that was key to this game."
The Tigers (7-3-3) bounced back with a goal by All-District performer Ryan Longchamps, who was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of a shot that rebounded off the post to make the score 3-1 at the 2:02 mark.
Both squads entered the second half with renewed intensity and it was the Tigers who took the first shot on goal when they pushed the Bulldog defense back but the shot was wide of the mark.
Hunter Masalerz's goal at the 26:36 mark was a huge boost for the home team and appeared to take some of the steam out of the Marshall County team's sails as they faced a 4-1 deficit after fighting so hard to get back into the match.
Tiger striker Edgar Flores broke away from the pack and was drug down from behind in the box three minutes later and the senior was on the money with the penalty kick to cut the Bulldog advantage to 4-2 to reenergize his teammates.
CA mid-fielder Zac Savankham put a stop to any comeback notion with a goal with 14:18 left to play when he tucked a shot into the right corner of the net to bump the score to 5-2.
Mastalerz's second goal of the match and a score by Zach Crane padded the margin for the Bulldogs.
Andres Acosta tallied for Marshall County in dead time to account for the final margin.
Columbia Academy faced Page in the region final last night and the win versus Marshall County assured the Bulldogs a spot in Saturday's Sectional game with a state tourney spot on the line.