Heading into Wednesday's home game against Glendale, Carthage boys soccer coach Jacob Osborne wondered how his team would respond if Glendale scored.
The Tigers hadn't allowed a goal through their first three games of the year, and in a similar situation last season, Glendale scored on Carthage and the Tigers began to fall apart in an eventual loss.
Carthage built a 2-0 lead in the first half before Glendale scored twice in quick succession early in the second half, but the Tigers bounced back for a 4-2 victory.
"I had a lot of concerns coming into the game tonight because Glendale is always a very good team, a good program," Osborne said. "This was our first real test where we played a team that would press us and pressure us the way Glendale did and I was concerned to see what would happen if we gave up a goal. That was one of the things I talked about before the game. I'm definitely pleased that after the second goal went in, we turned things back around and started playing better."
Victor Marin had two goals for the Tigers and Ismael Serratos and Henry Oxlaj added a goal apiece, while Marin, Victor Lopez and Serratos each assisted goals. Lopez' assist brings him within one of tying the school record for career assists.
The Tigers' 2-0 halftime lead disappeared quickly in the second. Glendale scored with 1:30 gone from the clock, and then again with 2:45 gone to tie the game at two before the Tigers scored twice more for the victory.
"It was pretty much the opposite of what we talked about at halftime," Osborne said. "I said they would really try and push to get a goal within the first 10 minutes and when the first goal scored I looked down at my watch and it said 1:30. We couldn't have started the second half off any worse than we did, honestly. That second goal, I feel, is a direct result of having our heads down from making a mistake on the first goal, instead of forgetting it. That first goal was still on our minds and we gave them an opportunity to capitalize on it and they did."
When Glendale broke Carthage's scoreless streak last year, Osborne said the team cracked and fell apart.
"I'm very happy we did turn around and start playing again," he said.
Osborne said the team needs to clean up several things defensively, including marking and spacing, while the offense needs to get used to the pressure.
"In our first three games before today we didn't have a lot of pressure," he said. "When we had the ball we could take as much time as we wanted and we didn't have to worry about having numbers around us, but tonight we had one or two bodies around us at all times and it definitely affected us."
Page 2 of 2 - Osborne also heaped credit for the victory on Jose Alberto, the team's goalie.
"He's huge," Osborne said. "The reason why we won tonight. He had multiple big saves. In the first half he had a couple really nice ones. He had one on their second goal where he saved the initial shot but the kid got the rebound to put it in. He had a very nice save with about 20 minutes left in the game when we were still up a goal. He made some huge saves."
Carthage hosts Monett next Tuesday.