CARL JUNCTION — Over three of the last four seasons, the Neosho boys and girls soccer programs have been history makers.

In the 2017 spring season, the Neosho Lady Wildcats earned their first district title in program history.

In the 2017 fall season, the Neosho Wildcats earned their third district title overall and their first since the 2004 season. Their first district title happened in 1986.

On Thursday night, with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over conference and district rival Webb City in the Class 3, District 12 finals, the Wildcats repeated as district champions for the first time in program history.

That's a fact not lost on Neosho head coach James Carter, a former Neosho Wildcat soccer player himself who then played two seasons at Crowder during their first two years as a collegiate program. Carter had been head soccer coach at McDonald County since their beginning in 2015, before returning to his alma mater and taking over the boys soccer program this season.

"It's great," Carter said after the match and a whole lot of Neosho celebration with the team and its many exuberant fans. "Back-to-back district titles, Neosho's never done that before and I mean, Neosho soccer's been a strong program and it has been around for a long time. A lot of great players and a lot of great teams, so we talked with the guys about that. They knew that this is history and you don't get a lot of chances to win back-to-back. They knew what they had in front of them and played great."

Neosho fell behind early 2-0, but tied it up late in the first half on goals by senior Edly Lihpai and freshman Gabriel Zapete, as the Wildcats managed to cash in on their scoring opportunities for the first and second time against Webb City goalkeeper Alex Gooch, a challenge to score against no doubt with his 6-foot-5 spidery-armed frame.

Neosho had a pair of penalty kick opportunities in the second half, as the Wildcats continued their relentless onslaught in Webb City territory. The Cardinals were called for a hand ball on the first and a foul on the second penalty kick.

Gooch made a tremendous save to deny Brayden Johnson on the first penalty kick, but Yahir Ruiz, who scored four goals against Webb City in the regular season, would not be denied on the second and he provided the final score with his goal.

"We've got a lot of experienced guys," Carter said, "and I think them being in this stage before helped them. They had a lot of confidence and I was confident all day with them and told them how sure I was they could play well. What the result is you never know but I knew they'd play well and they did.

"You know, obviously, that's a pressure shot. It's not easy to do. I understand we got two PKs, but PKs often times are the result of us possessing the ball in the box and having pressure up there in their final third. The whole team does that part and then you get the PKs, but that's a result of possessing the ball in the final third."

Neosho advances to sectionals for the second year in a row, with one crucial difference from last year.

"Parkview's our next step and we'll have that at home," Carter said. "It will be fun for us. Obviously, we travel well, but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fans in the stands. We played Parkview already and so the guys will be ready to go. They're already talking about what's in front of them, so they celebrated for a little bit but they're ready to keep going."

Neosho, 12-10-1 overall this season, defeated Parkview 2-1 in their earlier meeting, a match in the Joplin Tournament.

Parkview, 13-14 overall, won the District 11 title with victories over Willard and Bolivar, 3-2 over Willard in the finals on Wednesday and 2-0 over Bolivar in the semifinals.

Willard led Parkview 1-0 on its home field with a goal by Christopher Doyle at 18 minutes, 39 seconds.

Parkview then outscored Willard 3-1 in the second half with all four goals after halftime scored within a 11:37 span: Parkview's scoring came on a Collin Miller goal and a Jamal Ramadhan assist (57:08), a Chance Levings goal on an Elisha Valentine assist (60:48), and a David Camhi goal on a direct free kick (68:45).

Parkview and Willard moved their district final up an hour due to the impending threat of heavy rain, but they could not avoid the rain with a mist in pregame that eventually developed into full-blown rain in the second half.

Neosho and Webb City avoided rain on Thursday, as it came down much earlier in the day, well before their 6 p.m. start on the all-field turf playing surface at Bulldog Stadium. (The last time Neosho played on Bulldog Stadium in a district final, Neosho lost a 2-1 match two seasons ago to Carl Junction.)

Neosho assistant coach Steve Schnackenberg remains the one constant in all four district titles (all five if you count the girls): he was a player on the first boys soccer district title winner in 1986, an assistant to former head coach Roger Sides in 2004, head coach last season, and an assistant to his former player Carter this season.

The Wildcats have an opportunity to make some more history Tuesday night.