Tigers roll past Rockets
After pulling out a hard fought 3-1 win over Forrest during the regular season, the Marshall County Tigers (11-4-2) knocked their county rivals out of the playoffs on Friday afternoon by defeating the Rockets 5-0 at home in the quarterfinals of the District 11-A-AA tournament behind a dominant second half performance.
Forrest (3-8) hung tough early on and battled MCHS to a 0-0 tie through much of the first half. The Tigers, however, seized the momentum by tallying a goal late in the opening stanza to take a 1-0 lead into the break before scoring four times in the first 16 minutes of the second half to cruise to their fourth straight victory over the Rockets.
"That goal at the end of the first half kind of hurt us. Then they scored at the beginning of the second half and that seemed to take the wind out of us," said Forrest coach Jonathan Michael. "I hope Marshall County ends up taking home the District title though and represents the county well."
Bolstered by their second half surge, the Tigers outshot the Rockets 26-9 overall. Senior striker Andres Acosta scored three goals to lead Marshall County's offensive onslaught, while Luis Zarate and David Martinez each added one goal with Zarate dishing out an assist as well. Trey Sellars also notched two assists for MCHS, and Ivan Leyva and Edwin Jaimes both had one assist.
"We've really worked hard on our sequence of play and the guys did a good job of finding each other on the field today. I thought we played well in the first half, but so did Forrest," said Marshall County coach Lisa Raffo. "I think the goal at the end of the first half really pumped us up. It helped the guys relax and play like they've practiced all week."
Forrest senior midfielder Angel Reyes attempted a team high four shots, while Andrew Charles, Sam Wilson, and Chris Haggard attempted two, two, and one shot respectively.
MCHS goaltender Jonathan Salinas turned in another solid effort in net and finished with eight saves. Haggard started at goalie for the Rockets and recorded 10 saves. Spenser McGuiggan replaced Haggard at goaltender midway through the second half and notched six saves.
Haggard thwarted several Marshall County scoring chances through the first 30 minutes of the first half, but the Tigers finally found the back of the net in the 35th minute to take a 1-0 lead. After beating a FHS defender on the right side of the field, Sellars made a nice pass to Acosta in front of the net. Acosta then blasted a shot into the upper left hand corner of the net from six yards out.
The Tigers opened up a 2-0 advantage just three minutes into the second half when Martinez took a pass from Sellars in the middle of the field and fired a 15-yard shot just underneath the top post of the goal.
Zarata then pushed MCHS' lead to 3-0 in the 46th minute by rifling a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net from 10 yards out after receiving a pass from Leyva on the left hand side of the field.
In the 54th minute, Acosta gave Marshall County a 4-0 advantage when he took a pass from Zarate directly in front of the net and hammered home a shot from point blank range.
Acosta then completed the hat trick in the 64th minute by blasting another close range shot past Haggard after receiving a pass from Jaimes in the middle of the field to cap the Tigers' 5-0 triumph.