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Hallsville knocks Kilgore out of soccer playoffs, 3-2

By Brandon Ogden
April 3, 2014 at 11 p.m.

The third time is the charm for the Hallsville Bobcats.

After being shut out twice by Kilgore in the regular season, Hallsville scored three goals on the way to a 3-2 victory in the sectional round of the Class 4A soccer playoffs Thursday night at Pirate Stadium.

Kilgore won District 32-4A and had two 2-0 victories over Hallsville. But on Thursday night, it was the Bobcats' turn. The loss ended a spectacular run for Kilgore, which had advanced to the regional finals in each of the past four seasons.

With 30:37 remaining in the contest, David Martinez headed in a goal on an assist from Joey Ortiz for what turned out to be the game-deciding score.

Kilgore had two shots on goal in the final 10 minutes - attempts by Alexis Torres and Benito Bustos - but Hallsville's Mason Beatty was able to save both attempts. The Bulldogs' final chance came with fewer than 30 seconds left. Torres delivered the ball with a corner kick, and Cristian Pereles attempted a header that veered to the left of the goal.

Hallsville then used one final goal kick to put the ball back in play as time ticked off to help send the Bobcats to the regional quarterfinals for the first time. Hallsville's 1-0 win to open the postseason was the first playoff victory in program history.

The Bobcats opened the scoring when Juan Lopez subbed in to take a corner kick and kicked the ball to Andrew Southard, who headed the ball for an assist to Caleb Hagans to make it 1-0 in the 21st minute.

Kilgore tied the game with a goal from Bustos on a 34-yard free kick. The Bulldogs then took the lead on an unassisted goal by Emmanuel Ceja.

Hallsville didn't back down, though. Less than two minutes later after Kilgore gained the advantage, the Bobcats responded as Jamil Young fired a rocket from 19 yards out to make the score 2-2 heading into halftime.

The Bobcats only had one shot on goal in the second half – the goal from Martinez. Both teams attempted seven shots on goal in the contest.

Hallsville advances to face either Red Oak or Dallas Woodrow Wilson in the next round.

<em>(Follow Brandon Ogden on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank">@BrandonOSports</a>)</em>



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