CHS strikers begin '08 season with three straight victories

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Cassville Wildcat soccer team opened the 2008 season with wins against two Springfield teams and Branson. Early in the season, Cassville is enjoying a 3-0 record with a string of convincing victories.

The Wildcats hosted Greenwood on Monday and came away with a 3-1 win despite trailing 1-0 at halftime. Cassville was able to score three goals in the second half to beat the visitors.

Senior Uziel Franco tied the game up in the 55th minute on a breakaway goal. It was Franco's eighth goal of the season.

Jesus Rivera came up big with two goals within about seven minutes of each other to seal Cassville's win. The first goal was unassisted and the second was served up by Justin Mills, who provided Rivera with a perfect cross in front of Greenwood's goal.

Michael Rush, who handled goalkeeping duties for the Wildcats, came up with a fantastic save in the first half to keep the game close and give Cassville the opportunity to turn up its offense.

Greenwood's goal was scored by Cory McCoy off an assist by Chris Aiken.

On Saturday, the Wildcats played host to New Covenant, and after an incredibly rough match, came away as 3-2 winners.

New Covenant struck first in the game before junior Bryan Schroeder scored to tie up the game. In the second half, the Warriors again took the lead but the Wildcats responded with a goal by Mills, his first of the season. The game seemed headed for overtime until Franco scored to give Cassville the win with just two minutes remaining in the match.

"This week, we played and passed well," said Coach Brian Wilbanks. "New Covenant is one of our toughest competitors, and it took everything we had to win."

Last Thursday, Cassville was on the road and handed the Branson Pirates, in their first season of play, a 10-2 loss.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard within the first seconds of the game when Franco placed the opening kick over the head of Branson's goalkeeper and into the net.

Minutes later Schroeder headed in a cornerkick by Luis Ortega to put Cassville up 2-0. The Wildcats' offense was unstoppable with five Cassville players tallying goals.

Franco had six goals in the win, which ties the school record set by Ryan Schlichtman in 2006. Schroeder, Nashe Lugeanbeal, Ortega and BJ McGuffey each added a goal. The team's assists leader in the game was Ortega who tallied two. Jeff Munday was credited with one assist.

Cassville JV squad, coached by Jonathon Winslow, picked up a win and a tie this week.

The JV 'Cats defeated Branson 4-3 with Otto Franco tallying three goals and McGuffey earning the game winner.

Against New Covenant, the JV team tied 1-1. Cassville's long goal came from Otto Franco.

The Wildcats played Monett on Tuesday night and now have a nine-day hiatus until their next game at Aurora on Sept. 18. Cassville's next home game is against Columbus, Kan., on Sept. 22.

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