Republic possessed the ball, forced Springfield Parkview defenders to chase sideline to sideline, and pulled away with a big second half in a 5-1 win at home Thursday night. Diego Zuniga led the Tigers with a hat trick. In addition to his three goals, Republic got goals from Santino Siglianese and Brayden Tharp.
“Part of soccer is you want to have more possession. Unfortunately, in the game of soccer, you don’t have to have the most possession to win,” said Republic coach Jesus Zuniga. “Their captain got a goal early on, and that’s just part of the game.”
That goal by Parkview was its only one of the game, and for most of the second half, Republic made it difficult for the Vikings to get much of a push upfield. Jesus Zuniga said he was glad to see his team break out of its slump and get a win as they continue to adjust to his new system in his first season.
“It’s a new formation and the way we want our players to play in each role is different, too. We are trying to figure it out. We’re getting there,” he said. “It’s about time they got the result they deserve, because it’s been killing me. We have an amazing group of upperclassmen, and they just haven’t gotten the results they deserve.”
Republic’s offense has struggled since losing a double-overtime shutout on opening night against Waynesville. The Tigers have been shut out four times, but have scored eight goals in their last two games.
Zuniga said his team can continue to be aggressive even when they are being patient and not pushing the ball upfield at every opportunity.
“You just have to make moments count,” said Zuniga. “And that’s what teams have done against us, is they punish us for our mistakes. We haven’t done that yet. I don’t want to be the team that has to wait for a team to attack us, I want to be the team that attacks, and people learn how to defend us.”
The win improves Republic’s record to 2-5. The Tigers play next at Carl Junction on September 20.