Soccer showdown ends in 1-1 draw
De Soto and Mill Valley set out to decide who has the best soccer team Tuesday night. But it took them 100-minutes to discover they are pretty even. After two 10-minute periods of scoreless overtime the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
"We played well enough to win," said De Soto coach Mike Murphy. "We just missed some opportunities during the game."
Unlike the first game played by the Wildcats and Jaguars earlier in the season, De Soto didn't have a second half collapse.
In the first game, a 3-1 loss for the Wildcats, De Soto gave up a pair of second half goals and had to play catch up.
On Tuesday, however, the Jaguars scored with 4:33 remaining in the first half on a goal by senior Mark Pierce.
But De Soto goalkeeper Harley Mostaffa was solid thereafter with several big stops after the Jaguars penetrated deep into De Soto territory. He had 12 saves after intermission.
Sophomore sensation Jesse Smith knotted the score just eight minutes into the second half when he got loose in front of Mill Valley's goal.
The Wildcats took 11 more shots on goal after that, but couldn't find the net.
De Soto increased its streak of games with at least a tie or a win to four and improved its record to 7-3-1.
"We have come a long way since that last game," said Murphy. "Everybody knows their positions and roles better. The guys are backing each other up better on defense. If one guy comes up to help another out, the other guy has done a good job of backing into his spot to fill that hole."
The Wildcats have also made some personnel changes by starting sophomore Peter Crall at center midfield and moving senior Dave Moore from right wing to up top.
"We've certainly made consistent improvement," said Murphy. "Our keeper has come a long way and we are playing much better defensively."
Last Thursday De Soto earned its seventh win of the year with a 2-0 shutout of Piper.
Tyler Maniez and Smith scored goals, while Mostaffa posted the shut out.
In De Soto's only other game this week, the Wildcats travel to Immaculata, a team they beat 3-1 earlier in the year, on Thursday.
"Immaculata has a solid team," said Murphy. "Their only weakness is when their good freshman has to come up out of the defense. That really weakens their team. Otherwise they are a well-coached, disciplined team that plays solid defense. It's always a good game, never a blow out."