??Soccer 'Cats will play for district title

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wildcats are now 20-1 heading into title game against Bolivar

The Cassville Wildcat soccer team will play for the district championship tonight (Wednesday) at Bolivar after defeating Carthage 5-2 in semi-final action Monday.

Cassville got on the board four minutes after the opening whistle when the Bolivar goalie deflected a header by Ryan Schlichtman and Uziel Franco put the ball in the net. Franco scored again in the 18th minute of the game and then Omar Valenzuela put in the Wildcats' third goal with five minutes in the half.

Carthage scored in the final minutes of the first half to leave the score at 3-1. In the second half, Cassville extended its lead to 4-1 on a goal by Schlichtman.

Carthage answered right back with a goal of their own a few minutes later to narrow the lead to 4-2. Franco scored the final goal of the night on a free kick to collect a hat trick, his second in as many games.

Anthony Larson had an excellent night in goal, recording 11 saves.

In the opening round of district play on Saturday, Cassville defeated Marshfield 5-1. Franco scored three goals, and Schlichtman and Valenzuela added one each.

Heading into districts, Cassville ended the regular season with a 4-3 victory over Class 3 Ozark. Schlichtman and Franco had two goals each in the Senior Night victory.

"In the Ozark game we came out very tough but in second half we struggled but were able to hold in a very physical game that I feel was good for us," said Coach Brian Wilbanks.

"Even though we did not show up defensively in the second half of the Marshfield game, we only allowed one goal, which was a penalty kick," added Coach Wilbanks. "Ryan broke the career scoring record and Uziel was great with three goals."

Schlichtman's two goals against Ozark gave him 25 goals for the year and tied him for the school record for career goals at 72, which was set by Ryan's older brother Nick Schlichtman during the 2005 season.

With his goal against Marshfield on Saturday and another in the Carthage game, Ryan Schlichtman is now the school record holder with 74 career goals.

"I think that it is amazing with the competition we play that both or either of the Schlichtmans could score this many goals over a four-year period," said Coach Brian Wilbanks. "It's been enjoyable that it was two brothers competing for the title. Nick still holds the single season record of 37 goals."

Franco is the Wildcats' leading goal scorer so far this season with 36 goals, which puts him in position to set a new single season goals record. Ryan Schlichtman has 27 goals for the season and is the team's assists leader with nine.

The Wildcats will play Bolivar on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. for the Class 2, District 5 title. The soccer 'Cats enter the contest with a record 20-1.

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