Natchez High soccer gives up lead, falls to North Pike

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Despite a strong first half, the Natchez High School Bulldogs soccer team fell to the North Pike High School Jaguars 4-2 Friday afternoon at McLaurin Elementary School soccer field.

In a back and forth first half, the Bulldogs had several early shot attempts, but the Jaguars struck first at the mid-point of the first half.

In the 20th minute of the first half, Brazilian exchange student Rodrigo Silva headed the ball in the back of the net off a corner kick to put the Jaguars on top 1-0.

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The lead was short-lived as Ross Smith of Natchez scored in the 27th minute of play to tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams played tough defense the rest of the first half, and neither team scored again to conclude the first half with 1-1 tie.

The Jaguars came out aggressively in the second and took back the lead in the sixth minute of play. John Paul Price scored to put the Jaguars back on top 2-1.

The Bulldogs battled back and tied the game for the second time after Kent Calvit scored in the 20th minute to even the score at 2-2.

But Silva had other plans for the Jaguars as he scored his second goal of the game two minutes later to put North Pike on top 3-2. He sealed the victory and completed the hat trick in the 36th minute of play by chipping the ball over Natchez goalkeeper Jeremy Buckles to give the Jaguars a 4-2 victory.

Natchez head coach Dennis Hogue said the loss was very frustrating.

&8220;We played better than last time and we picked it up in the second half, but we slipped up on defense a few times and it cost us,&8221; Hogue said.

On the positive side, Hogue said all his players got to see some playing time.

He said some players said they thought it felt funny playing on a different field, but he did not think that the field was a major factor in the loss.

&8220;Our weakness has been our defense, and that is something we are going to focus on in practice,&8221; Hogue said.

The game, which was previously scheduled to be played at Natchez High School, was moved to McLaurin Elementary School due to improvements on the Natchez football field.