Coach Curtis Bishop's Houn' Dawgs went unbeaten last week to bring home third place in the Cassville Soccer Classic, defeating the hosts 3-0 to place in the top three.
After draws against McDonald County and Fair Grove, the Houn' Dawgs got a pair of goals from Patrick Reyes and one from Diego Garcia-Ortega in the 3-0 win. But it was the defensive effort that Bishop praised after making some changes to the lineup.
"We smothered [the Cassville] offense and rarely gave them the possession in our defensive half of the field, and it was fun to watch them work," said the coach. "Team defense is something we want to take pride in because we know it is one thing we can bring every game and hang our hat on."
With a solid game by defensive backs Julius Jager, Ryan Cline, Eric Reyes, Nic London and Pablo Reyes, the midfield was able to pressure the Cassville defensive end, leading to three goals and assists from Spencer Briggs and Dissakom "Nino" Plubpia. In goal, Clemente Reyes picked up the shutout after having to make just two saves.
In game one of the tournament, Briggs scored the lone goal, assisted by C. Reyes, while P. Reyes made five saves in the 1-1 draw against the Mustangs.
Cline and Garcia-Ortega were the goal scorers against Fair Grove, with Briggs tallying another assist. P. Reyes made eight saves in the draw.
After falling 4-1 Tuesday against the Cassville Classic champion New Covenant, the Houn' Dawgs will play their first home game on Friday afternoon. The junior varsity game will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity under the lights at home for the first time.