WILLARD — The Neosho Wildcats traditionally play better in the second half of their season and they have started in that direction in recent matches, despite a championship match loss Saturday to Willard in the Willard Classic.

The Wildcats reached the championship match on the strength of a 3-2 win Saturday over Logan-Rogersville and a 3-1 win Friday over Bolivar. Those wins edged Neosho’s winning streak to three games and improved the Wildcats to 4-8 entering the championship match.

Head coach Steve Schnackenberg said the guys stepped up Saturday morning against Logan-Rogersville and played strong as a team.

The Wildcats, despite being credited for possession only 14 minutes in the match, took 13 shots overall, seven on goal, and took five corner kicks.

Logan-Rogersville took 11 shots, nine on goal, and had four corners during their 1:09.01 of possession.
Matias Ruiz and Bryan Perez did the goal scoring for the Wildcats, with Ruiz finding the back of the net twice. Jason Roponei had an assist.

Hank Selig made seven saves in goal for the Wildcats.

Down two starters against Bolivar, Schnackenberg said the team came together, especially during what he termed a great second half.

The Wildcats dominated possession more during this match, taking 13 shots overall, 12 on goal, and seven corner kicks.

Diego Vargas, Yahir Ruiz, and Perez each scored goals, while Matias Ruiz, Perez, and Etian Pupo each had an assist.

Selig made two saves in goal.

Down 1-0 at halftime, Neosho scored all three goals in the second half, over a span of nearly 18 minutes.
Yahir Ruiz opened the scoring off a pass from Perez, then Perez scored off an assist from Pupo, and Vargas closed out the scoring with an assist from Matias Ruiz.

Neosho returns to action tonight against Webb City at Lions Field. The Wildcats are looking for a clean sweep of their three district opponents — Carl Junction and McDonald County have already fallen to the Wildcats — in the regular season.