McGuffey's hat trick lifts Wildcats to win
On an emotional night when Cassville High School honored five senior soccer players, it was a junior, Zack McGuffey, who provided the scoring spark with three first half goals to lift Cassville (7-10-1) to a 5-2 victory over Hillcrest (4-12) on Oct. 15.
"We came into this game needing a win to give us some momentum heading into districts," said Cassville coach Andrew Hoskins. "This game proved what our offense can do when it is focused and works with our defense."
Cassville took advantage of an aggressive start as the Hornets struggled to get the ball across the midfield stripe. McGuffey found the back of the net in the ninth minute on a breakaway to give Cassville a 1-0 lead
In the 17th minute, McGuffey extended the Wildcats' advantage when teammate David Verde blasted a free kick toward the goal. As Hillcrest's goalie charged to field the ball, McGuffey redirected the shot into a wide-open net to give Cassville a 2-0 score.
The Wildcats remained on the attack in the first 40-minutes and outshot the Hornets 11 to 4 in the first half.
McGuffey added his third score of the evening in the 36th minute off a rebound.
Ten minutes into the second half, Verde scored to increase the Cassville lead to 4-1.
To complete the Wildcats' scoring, Cassville benefited from an own goal in the 66th minute.
"We were able to control their tempo and forced them to play possession more on their side of the field," said Hoskins. "We controlled the game defensively. I thought (Indy) Cole and (Brady) Pry were able to work with our defense. Wyatt Lopez was able to shut down the center of the field. I felt this game was an excellent chance for us to show the kind of soccer that we are capable of playing."
Cassville will one district play on Oct. 27 at Cassville. The Wildcats' opponent has yet to be determined.