CARTHAGE, Tx - The Carthage Bulldogs soccer team is working toward a possible playoff berth in its second year of competition. Head coach Chris Clonginer is pointing his troops to upcoming matches against Hallsville and Marshall, teams he feels are on the same level as the Carthage squad.
The Kilgore Bulldogs, however, are a different breed, as they proved here Friday night at Martin Stadium by defeating Carthage by a score of 8-0.
Kilgore is a squad loaded with club players, athletes who have been playing the game so long that moving the ball with their feet is second nature. They showed off their ball skills early in the contest, completing four consecutive passes without allowing the ball to touch the turf.
They methodically moved the ball up the field, patiently positioning the ball for a shot on goal. The first shot sailed wide, but Kilgore came right back and punched in the opening goal with 34:38 remaining in the first half.
They would miss on their next attempt, and Carthage goalkeeper Jesus Ayala made a diving save on another. However, Kilgore exploded moments later, scoring three goals in 2:08 to stretch the lead to 4-0.
They would tack on two more before the halftime break, taking a 6-0 lead to the locker room.
Kilgore appeared to back off in the second period, content to protect their lead while moving the ball around and eating up the clock. They only attempted five shots on goal, making two, compared to fifteen attempts in the first half.
Clonginer was quick to praise his opponent.
"They are really good in their sports over there (at Kilgore HS)," Clonginer stated. "They could have easily scored 15 on us, but that wouldn't have helped either of us. We're trying to build a program and they are playing on a whole other level right now.
"Their kids are very sound technically as well as tactically. When they pass the ball, the kid who it's going to is always in position to advance it. We are getting there, but we still have work to do."
Clonginer added that he is excited about the direction of the Carthage program.
"We've got a lot of youth here and a lot of kids excited about the opportunity to represent their school and their community. The success will come."
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