Third time the charm for Neville; Magnet boys halted

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

MONROE — In LHSAA boys’ soccer Division II quarterfinal action Tuesday night, the fifth-seeded Caddo Magnet Mustangs had their season ended by the No. 4 Neville Tigers 5-0.

The Tigers (14-4-1) came out with revenge on their minds, having lost to the Mustangs (17-8-1) twice during the regular season.

Magnet was only able to take seven shots. Keeper Mark De Leon had 14 saves.

In the opening half, Neville dominated possession, leaving Magnet dependent on counter attacks to try and generate opportunities to score. Neville found success bringing the ball forward up the left side all half. In the 13th minute a cross came from the left side and was finished for a 1-0 Tigers lead. In the 28th minute Neville brought the ball up the middle and scored.

Magnet’s De Leon had four point-blank saves in the half, plays that even impressed the host fans. De Leon’s performance in the first kept the Mustangs in the game.

As the second half began, play seemed to even out a bit, with both teams possessing the ball equally. Neville began the second half scoring in the 8th minute on a penalty kick. Immediately after the score, Magnet’s Alexander Baltov got a free kick from 25 yards out that put the Tigers keeper to the test, but he stood firm. The most exciting shot of the game was made by a Tigers forward when he took a bicycle-style strike, but De Leon was able to make the save.

De Leon then started a counter that ended with Jakyran Pierson one-on-one with Neville’s keeper, but the threat was quelled. This lost opportunity took the wind out of the Mustangs’ sails, with the Tigers maintaining possession for most of the time remaining. Neville was able to tack on two late goals.

Local quarterfinal matches today (all girls contests)

Division I, No. 4 Captain Shreve hosts No. 5 Dutchtown, 3:30, Lee Hedges Stadium
Division III, No. 2 Loyola hosts No. 7 Lusher Charter, 5:00, Messmer Stadium.
Division II, No. 2 Caddo Magnet hosts No. 7 Teurlings Catholic, 6:00, Lee Hedges Stadium

Local teams traveling for quarterfinal matches today

Boys, Division II, No. 6 Benton travels to play No. 3 East Jefferson, 5:00, Joe Yenne Stadium
Boys, Division III, No. 4 Bossier travels to play at No. 12 North Vermillion, 5:30
Girls, Division II, No. 5 Benton travels to No. 4 Neville, 6:00

Photo by RADI BALTOV