By David Wheeler | NEMS Daily Journal
SPRINGVILLE – Sometimes it takes a little luck.
And the South Pontotoc Cougars soccer team had none Saturday.
In quarterfinal action of the Class 1A-2A-3A MHSAA soccer playoffs, the Cougars failed to capitalize on early chances, and the Forest Bearcats late run of three goals clinched a 4-0 victory for the visitors.
“Sometimes you need to get a bounce in soccer, and we did not get a bounce our way in this game,” South Pontotoc coach Horace Kitchens said. “You just have to stay motivated, and we’ll come back next year.”
South Pontotoc (9-7-1) controlled a fair share of the contest in the first 50 minutes, including a couple of chances in the first half that were swatted away by Forest.
The visitors converted one of their opportunities midway through the first period as Eluid Alvarez neatly headed in a long cross for a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, South Pontotoc rattled the left post early, but that was about the last chance for the Cougars.
A wide-open Alvarez crossed the net with a shot that hit the right post and bounded in for a 2-0 lead. South Pontotoc lost its aggressiveness after that, and Aaron Gutierez and Lupe Morales added goals for Forest.
“I think we pretty well controlled the early part of the game, except for that head shot,” Kitchens said. “We’re a pretty young team that went a lot further than anybody gave them credit.
“We knew they were going to be fast, and we played an excellent team.”