Ethan Meyer goes up for the ball as part of a wall on a Carthage free kick in the first half.

Tigers Top Carthage in Defensive Battle

The Republic Tigers soccer team is determined to show that its 1-3 start – and not its current hot streak – was the fluke of this season. Last night, the Tigers toppled another top-tier conference opponent, downing Carthage 1-0, on their home turf.

Just seven minutes in, Republic scored the only goal of the night. Markus Mitchell fired a free kick from 50 yards out, putting it right in the middle of the box. Marco Donjuan played it backwards off his head into the left corner of the goal, giving Republic the early lead.

From there, the fast-improving Republic defense made it hold up. Coach Kevin Hauck knew Carthage’s speed would pose a challenge, but he didn’t realize how big the challenge would be until seeing them in person.

“They were tough. They were a lot quicker than what I thought coming into tonight,” he said. “But defensively, I thought we rotated really well tonight. We came in with a good game plan, and I thought we executed it. We had a couple of breakdowns, but we always had someone filling in where it was key.”

Republic has won four of its last five games, running its overall record to 5-4. The Tigers have also improved to 2-1 in conference play, with big important wins over Neosho and Carthage in the past week.

“Having wins over Neosho and Carthage is really nice. It’s exciting to have that, but I also know that to be able to finish out conference where I want, we’re going to have to get a little bit better offensively going forward. So we have some work to do, but I’m excited to be where we’re at.”

Republic will be on the road at Springfield Central (4-5) Thursday.

FARR BETTER PLAYER OF THE GAME

Coming into Tuesday’s game, Republic knew one key to holding Carthage in check would be to limit senior forward Adrian Garrido’s scoring opportunities. Defender Ethan Meyer got that assignment, and he made the most of it, with the help of stellar play in goal by Drake Lightfoot. Meyer kept Garrido out of the scoring column, and Lightfoot came up with several tough saves to preserve Republic’s early lead, and they are, in combination, our Farr Better Players of the Game.

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