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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Chilly night can’t cool ‘Cats

  • The Neosho Wildcats turned in a gutsy effort on a cold night and came away with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Carl Junction at the Class 2, District 12 Soccer Tournament on Tuesday.
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  • The Neosho Wildcats turned in a gutsy effort on a cold night and came away with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Carl Junction at the Class 2, District 12 Soccer Tournament on Tuesday.
    The Wildcats (11-9) advanced to take on Carthage, who throttled Webb City 8-1 earlier in the day, in the district finals on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Carl Junction.
    This one came down to some outstanding goalkeeping on both ends of the field. Neosho’s Paul Sanders won that battle with 10 outstanding saves in the game while Bulldogs keeper Josiah Dinwiddie turned in six. The Wildcats, who had chances to score several more goals, fired seven shots on goal while the Bulldogs blasted 10.
    The Wildcats got on the board first when a perfect header at midfield by Diego Maldonado led Dustin Hill on a breakaway. Hill, who had his defender beat, blasted a shot that deflected off of a diving Dinwiddie, and he cleaned up the deflection into the net to make it 1-0 with 20:32 left in the first half.
    The Bulldogs (13-9) came right back to tie it, however, when Landon Bray got loose in a one-on-one match up with Sanders and beat him to make it 1-1 with 14:22 remaining in the first.
    That would be the only time the Bulldogs would beat Sanders, though. He went on to turn in several big saves, including a fantastic stop on a Bulldogs header off of a corner kick with 31:21 left in the contest.
    The equalizer for the Wildcats came in the second half when Angel Garcia scored off a deflection with 38:08 remaining. Sanders and the rest of the Wildcats defense made the lead stand from there on.
    “I think we had a little hard time with the turf starting out early, and we got better,” Wildcats coach Steve Schnackenberg said. “I thought everybody came out and played hard. We’re doing what we need to do with the ball. We had lots of chances and (Dinwiddie) did a good job — he was tough.
    “Our defense, they’re just solid every game, game in and game out. Paul back there making some saves and being tough back there also. Hailey Green, same thing, bodying up and getting people off the ball and doing a good job. Our backfield really played strong tonight.
    Schnackenberg said the team will spend today practicing in preparation for a tough Tigers team on Thursday.
    “It’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “They’re going to be a little different style. They’re going to possess the ball on us and so it’s going to be a matter of making that adjustment (today) and we’ll come out and see what we’ve got for them. I’d love to see us step up and play a great game. I think we can play right along with them.”

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