The Smith-Cotton soccer team fell behind in the first half, then scored seven unanswered goals to open the 2015 season with a 7-1 win over Marshall on Friday at Tiger Stadium.
Trailing 1-0 after Diego Umana converted from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, Smith-Cotton equalized with a goal from Carlos Aguirre in the 36th minute, then added six more in the second half.
Aguirre and Luke Guier set up the Tigers’ second goal of the game with several passes on the right side before Aguirre found Brendon Hofheins to make it 2-1.
Aguirre then scored in the 52nd and 56th minutes to make it 4-1.
“Carlos is one of the more skilled kids we’ve ever had,” said Smith-Cotton coach Ethan Weller. “He can kind of play anywhere on the field. I know he loves to play in the middle of the field, but with his skill set it’s hard not to put him out on a wing where he can isolate people and beat people one-on-one and sometimes two and three people and get a shot off. I thought he did a tremendous job of carrying us for the few minutes he was out there.”
Roberto Ramirez scored off of a Vlad Varshytskyy free kick in the 64th minute. Goals from Jose Talaverra and Trent Willis capped off the scoring.
Smith-Cotton controlled possession for most of the first 30 minutes but could not score. A header from Ramirez sailed high in the fourth minute and Jordan Lawson had open looks in the fifth and 11th minutes which missed the target.
“We had opportunities in the first half, we just didn’t put them away,” Weller said. “A lot of our chances in the first half were corners and set pieces in the air which is something we’re not great at. The second half we kind of spaced them out and stopped turning the ball over which we did in the first half a lot.”
Smith-Cotton was able to have younger players get playing time and several of them had chances. Alex Esquivel pushed a shot wide in the 70th minute. Moments later Riley Moore sent a pass from the right corner to Jonathan Lopez but Marshall keeper Omar Tinoco made the save. Moore also had a chance in the 80th minute but the shot was wide.
“I thought it gave us a good chance to get some of those freshmen and sophomores a few minutes under their belt and to be honest, they went in and played exactly the kind of style we want to play,” Weller said. “I think the big thing for them will be to pick up the speed the varsity game is played at. … They’re very creative. They’re very soccer savvy. We really didn’t miss a whole lot once they went in there.”
In the second game of the S-C Tournament against Willard at Susie Ditzfeld Field, the Tigers won 5-1. S-C got first-half goals from Jordan Lawson, Blake Grupe and Trey Goodson. Aguirre and Esquivel scored in the second half.
The Tigers will take on Harrisonville at 1 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles