Fairview defeats Tigers in OT

Friday, May 18, 2012
Marshall County's Andres Acosta battles Fairview's Christian Shelby for possession of the ball in the first half. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers (13-5-2) left it all on the pitch, but were unable to prolong their stay in the postseason, as they lost 3-2 in overtime to the Fairview Yellow Jackets at home in the first round of the Region 6-A-AA tournament on Tuesday night.

Having been knocked out of the playoffs in the opening round of the Region tournament each of the last two years, the Tigers trailed 1-0 late in the second half, but senior striker Andres Acosta tried to singlehandedly reverse MCHS' fortunes and tallied two goals in a span of eight minutes to stake MCHS to a 2-1 lead.

Fairview (8-5-1), however, spoiled Marshall County's storybook ending by scoring in the waning moments of regulation to knot the game at 2-2 before notching the only goal in overtime to escape with the hard fought victory.

Marshall County goaltender Jonathan Salinas stops a low, skidding shot by Fairview's Christian Suffridge in the second half.

"Even though we lost, I'm very proud of our players. This season they learned to play for each other and that's the whole reason you play soccer," said MCHS coach Lisa Raffo. "This team always played with a lot of heart in the second half so I had confidence in them after we fell behind. Fairview just made plays when they had to late in regulation and in overtime."

Both teams were able to generate a number of quality scoring chances, as Fairview finished with a slim 19-18 advantage in shot attempts.

Acosta took a team high six shots, while Ivan Leyva and Luis Zarate both attempted three shots with Zarate also recording an assist. Seniors Brad Pippen and Trey Sellars chipped in two shots apiece as well, and Jose Pineda and David Martinez both recorded one shot.

In net, senior goaltender Jonathan Salinas made several tough saves for the Tigers and stopped 10 shots overall.

With his performance against Fairview, Acosta finished the season with a single season school record 40 goals.

"Andres always played well for us this year. He's the consummate ball player and was the leader of the team," said Raffo. "I think all the seniors contributed in different ways this season and we're really going to miss them."

Sean Anderson, Christian Suffridge, and Will King each tallied one goal for Fairview with Anderson and Suffridge both registering an assist.

Neither team was able to get on the board until midway through the second half when Anderson took a pass from Suffridge on the right side of the field and rifled a 15-yard shot that bounced off the far post and into the net in the 66th minute to stake the Yellow Jackets to a 1-0 lead.

In the 70th minute, Acosta was fouled in front of the Fairview net while attempting a header and was awarded a penalty kick. Acosta then calmly lined the penalty kick into the upper left hand corner of the net to knot the game at 1-1.

The Tigers found the back of the net again in the 78th minute to seize a 2-1 advantage when Acosta received a throw in from Zarate in the middle of the field and blasted a low, line drive shot past Yellow Jacket goalie David Higgins from 15 yards out.

Marshall County's lead would prove to be short lived, as King received a pass from Anderson in front of the net and chipped a shot past Salinas from point blank range a few moments later to send the game into overtime tied at 2-2.

Fairview then took a 3-2 lead just three minutes into the extra session when Suffridge blasted another close range shot into the back of the net after winning a scramble for the ball directly in the middle of the field.

Pippen had a shot barely roll wide left of the Fairview net two minutes later, but the Tigers failed to muster another quality scoring chance the rest of the overtime and saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end.