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Kilgore Bulldogs oust Ennis, return to regional tournament

By Jimmy Carter
April 9, 2013 at 10 p.m.

FORNEY – Kilgore's boys soccer team is headed back to a familiar place.

The Bulldogs beat Ennis 3-0 in a Class 3A Region II quarterfinal match to advance to their fourth consecutive regional tournament.

Kilgore (21-3-4) led 1-0 at halftime and tacked on two goals in the second half to earn the big win.

"This'll be the fourth year in a row so I think the experience definitely helps when you get this late," Kilgore coach Aaron Erickson said. "I feel like we controlled the ball a lot better than we have the last three games, actually. That was good to see before the big one."

Kilgore junior goalkeeper JD Perales recorded his 14th shutout of the season, continuing to build on his own school record that broke the mark he set as a sophomore.

"It's always good going into games knowing he's back there," Erickson said.

Kilgore had to work against a stiff wind in the first half, but managed to hold Ennis in check as both teams attempted seven shots in the opening 40 minutes. The Bulldogs took the lead when Colin Nutt headed Alexis Torres' corner kick into the goal in the 30th minute.

"I told them all week that we've done a lot better this year than last year on set pieces, free kicks and corner kicks," Erickson said. "I feel like in the playoffs they've been very beneficial to us. I told them this week that if we can attack better, get the ball on our end of the field and get those chances we can put one in."

Kilgore outshot Ennis 9-5 with the wind at its back in the second half.

"This is really, actually good practice for the regional tournament because it's always windy there," Erickson said. "It was big holding them in the first half because I feel if we can get to the second half, if we're close we can always pull it out."

The Bulldogs quickly stretched the lead to 2-0 when Jose Rico ripped a goal past Ennis' goalkeeper from 11 yards out in the 44th minute. Kilgore tacked on a late goal on Cristian Perales cross from 15 yards out in the 73rd minute.

Kilgore will face Frisco Wakeland or Molina in a regional semifinal match Friday at 5 p.m. at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton.

<em>(Follow Jimmy Carter on Twitter @jicartersports)</em>



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