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RHS soccer teams stay unbeaten in area

The Russellville varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer teams hosted the West Morgan Rebels in AHSAA Class 4A-5A, Area 14 matches, and the Golden Tigers came away with a couple of wins.

The highly-ranked RHS boys took a 5-1 victory over West Morgan March 26 to improve their record to 10-0, while the Russellville girls (6-4-1) held off a late rally by their opponent for a thrilling 3-2 win.

Both RHS varsity teams are leading the way in the area with perfect 6-0 marks so far in the 2021 regular season.

In the boys’ match, Russellville possessed the ball for a large majority of the night and once again got outstanding play from goal-keeper Daniel Martinez.

The Golden Tigers scored first against the Rebels with 13:18 remaining in the opening half when Juan Cano converted a corner kick into a goal.

The second half saw the Russellville offensive attack get going for four additional goals. With 32:40 remaining in the match, Orlando Jimenez beat the West Morgan goalie with a header to make the score 2-0, and a couple of minutes later, Jonathan Salgado got the ball into the net with a goal.

Emmanuel Martinez of RHS checked into the game in the second half, and he scored a goal and kicked the ball off of a West Morgan defender for another score to help his team pull away for good.

The Rebels picked up their lone goal of the game with 27 seconds remaining in the contest.

“They are always a tough team, and it’s always a battle when we play them,” said Russellville head coach Trey Stanford. “Possession-wise, I would say 90-10 or maybe 85-15 on our part. We just couldn’t quite finish during that first half. In the second half, we finished much better.”

The Russellville girls found themselves down 1-0 in their match but got the equalizer with 23:30 to go in the opening half when Amaya Carter scored.

Ashley Garcia put RHS ahead with a direct kick goal, and the Lady Golden Tigers were up 2-1 at the half.

Solid play at keeper by Jayna Poss and a Kathy Sanchez goal had the Russellville girls up 3-1 before West Morgan added a score with 2:43 to go in the match. The Rebels’ fierce attempt to even the contest came up short as time expired, and the RHS team held on for the exciting victory.

“Coach Fred (Ambrosio) and Coach Larson Plyler have done a great job getting the girls on level with that team,” Stanford said. “For our girls to beat them, it’s a huge stepping stone in the right direction.

“For them to have a chance to win the region, it’s even bigger,” Stanford added. “So, it’s a big night for us. The crowd was amazing again. Everybody showed up and showed out, and there’s no other place around that’s like it.

“It’s just a one-of-a-kind soccer atmosphere.”