The Republic soccer team stormed back from a 1-0 halftime deficit in a driving rainstorm, scoring three unanswered goals in a lightning-shortened 3-2 win over Carthage at home Tuesday night.
Marco Donjuan got the Tigers on the board to tie the game 1-1 with an unassisted goal early in the second half. Drew Flippin gave Republic the lead 2-1, with an assist from Chris Pacheco. Pacheco assisted on the third goal, as well, feeding Austin Beck for the score to make the score 3-1.
With about 12 minutes remaining Carthage cut the lead to 3-2, but about three minutes later, lightning forced the teams off the field. After a delay of nearly an hour, the teams returned to the field to warm up — only to have another lightning flash cause the game to be called off.
“I thought in the first half, we weren’t as high-pressure as I want us to be,” says coach Kevin Hauck. “Carthage, the one thing they do is … move the ball really well, so I thought it was important to be able to put pressure immediately on them to try to slow down their passing. And I thought we did a really nice job of that [in the] second half.”
The win improves Republic’s record to 12-7 overall and 6-1 in the Central Ozark Conference with two league games remaining. The win over Carthage keeps Republic in the hunt for its first league championship.
It’s also the second win in a row over Carthage, after Republic beat Carthage for the first time last year in the district championship game.
“I think it says a lot about the kids and how they’re developing and … how they’re working,” Hauck says. “The one thing that I’m starting to see, which I’m really excited about, is no matter who we’re facing, we don’t feel like we’re out of it. We feel like we can compete with anyone. So when we’re going into a game, we’re not afraid of the other team because of who they may be. We’re just out there ready to play our game.”