Verde's hat trick not enough for Wildcats
Regulation was not enough time to settle the Class 1, District 12 soccer championship between Cassville and Monett on Nov. 1.
In the 12th minute of overtime, Monett's junior striker Eddie Aceves scooted a line drive worm-burner past a diving Cassville goalie Indy Cole to lift the top-seeded Monett Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the upset-minded Wildcats.
|"Monett and Coach (Dan) Janssen have a quality program," said||Cassville coach Andrew Hoskins. "We're disappointed with the outcome, but we're proud of the effort and pride we played with."|
Things started well for the black and gold. Thirty seconds into the contest, Cassville striker David Verde flew past the Monett defense to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
However, eight minutes later, Monett answered when Aceves knotted the score 1-1 off a Jairo Rueda assist.
In the 15th minute, Aceves broke free down the left side of the field to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Monett could have had two more goals if not for outstanding saves by Cole in the next two minutes.
The Wildcats would not go quietly. Fixing their defensive alignment, the Wildcats snuffed the Cubs' offense for the remainder of the first half.
Cole booted a ball out of the goal in the 34th minute that landed near Verde who drove past the Monett defense and quickly tied the score at 2-2 before the intermission.
|"David has been our high energy player all season," said Hoskins. "He and our entire team played with 100 percent energy."||Monett stumbled to start the second half, and Verde recorded his third goal of the game in the 50th minute.|
He nearly had a fourth goal in the 52nd minute off a free kick, but the ball hit the crossbar and trickled over the net.
The Cubs settled down and began to attack. Cole was forced to make six saves over the next 15 minutes as Monett worked the ball to the middle of the field of the Wildcats' zone.
Monett's persistence finally paid off in the 67th minute. Rueda took a centered pass, spun around and buried a 15-yard shot into the corner of the net.
The goal lifted the spirits of the Cubs and rejuvenated the team's resolve. Monett became the aggressors, attacking the Wildcats and controlling the pace of play.
The Wildcats withstood the Cubs' attack and forced the extra time.
Cassville tried to strike quickly in the sudden death overtime frame. Monett goalie David Garcia made two saves to preserve the tie.
Six minutes into the overtime session, Monett won a throw in. From that point on, the Cubs played on Cassville's end of the field. Three times, the Wildcats tried to clear the ball, only to have a Monett player intercept the pass and keep up the offensive pressure.
Finally, the ball trickled through the Wildcats' defense and found its way to the left corner of the field where Aceves ended the game with a goal.
"We stayed calm and kept executing the game plan," said Janssen. "Once we found our rhythm, I thought we controlled the game. Cassville is a quality opponent and played a great game."
The district crown was the first for the Cubs since 2001 and second in school history.