Smith-Cotton was able to find and take advantage of holes in Harrisonville’s defense Saturday at Tiger Stadium as the Tigers won 5-0 to claim their home tournament title and start the season 3-0.
“I’ve been struggling to find the net this whole tournament, but our team has been playing great this whole tournament,” said forward Luke Guier.
All five of the Tigers’ goals were scored within a few feet of the goal.
Guier heated up in the tournament finale and scored the first three goals of the game.
The Jordan Lawson to Guier connection was in tune early on.
Lawson dribbled the ball on the left side and found Guier in the middle on the run toward the goal in the ninth minute.
They executed a similar play in the 16th minute, except Lawson passed the ball from the right side.
“I’ve got a good connection with both the forwards,” Guier said. “Jordan and Carlos are crazy dangerous on the sidelines. They are both crazy fast and they are really good at beating two or three guys and dumping it right in the middle for me. It’s easy to score when they put the ball right on my foot right in front of the goal.”
Guier scored his third goal of the game in the 55th minute when he leaped in front of the goal and used his chest to knock it into the net, giving S-C a 3-0 lead.
Jose Talavera and Alex Esquivel became the successful connection late in the game. Esquivel found Talavera running toward the goal and he slid to kick it in, making it 4-0 in the 69th minute.
Talavera returned the favor in the final minute by passing it to Esquivel close to the goal on the right side and he put it in, making it 5-0.
S-C was in control for much of the game, except when Seith Wiebusch and Cole Harkrader made runs for Harrisonville.
Wiebusch got the first shot off of the game in the second minute, but it went over the goal.
Landon Dove made a diving save of Wiebusch’s shot in the 11th minute.
Harkrader found open space in the 26th minute, but Roberto Ramirez was able to take the ball away to end the threat.
Dove made another diving save in the 30th minute when Harkrader got a shot off.
Wiebusch tried to prevent a shutout in the 79th minute, but he kicked a roller to Dove.
The Tigers will host Moberly at 5 p.m. Monday.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.