The Neosho Wildcats and the Willard Tigers battled into double overtime before the Tigers came out with a 3-2 win Tuesday night at Lions Field.
“Heartbreaking loss on Senior Night,” Neosho head coach Steve Schnackenberg said. “We played well tonight. Very physical and well-played game from both teams. Willard tied the score with less than a minute in regulation.”
Recently, the Wildcats had done well in these situations, defending their Joplin Tournament championship with penalty kick wins against Carl Junction and Joplin. Alas, Willard made sure the match did not reach penalty kicks, securing the win 8 minutes, 4 seconds into the second overtime.
Overall, in the match, Neosho took nine shots overall, seven on goal, and two corner kicks, while Willard took 19 shots overall, 11 on goal, and four corners.
Neosho senior goalkeeper Hank Selig finished the night with eight saves and a 72.7 save percentage. Selig has been a big part of Neosho’s success this season, especially in those wins against Carl Junction and Joplin.
Willard senior goalkeeper Turner Sevon made five saves and recorded a 71.4 save percentage.
It was only 24 seconds into the match when Neosho seniors Hunter Gilliam and Matias Ruiz fittingly put the Wildcats on the board first, Gilliam with the goal and Ruiz with the assist.
The 1-0 Neosho score stayed the same until Willard’s Riley Young tied it up 5:48 after halftime.
Diego Vargas scored Neosho’s other goal and Young netted both Willard goals in regulation.
Neosho fell to 8-11 overall entering its Thursday road match against Monett.
Neosho hosts districts at Bob Anderson
The Missouri State High School Activities has released the seedings and bracket for the upcoming Class 3, District 12 tournament.
Neosho — by virtue of wins against Carl Junction, Webb City, and McDonald County — earned the top seed in the four-team district.
The Wildcats have been awarded the right to host districts and were planning to play at their new field near the softball complex. Alas, that field’s not ready to go and the Wildcats have been playing their home games instead at their old field, Lions Field.
However, it’s been determined that district will be played at Bob Anderson Stadium, home of the Neosho Wildcats’ football team.
The Wildcats play No. 4 seed McDonald County at 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 24, the second game of a semifinal doubleheader.
No. 2 Carl Junction and No. 3 Webb City play in the first game at 5 p.m. that day.
In the regular season, Neosho defeated Carl Junction 2-1 twice, Webb City 1-0, and McDonald County 2-0.
Carl Junction won the district title last season, defeating Neosho 2-1 at Bulldog Stadium.
Neosho pursues its first district title since 2004 … and this past spring, the Lady Wildcats earned the first district title in the history of the girls soccer program.