The Aurora Houn Dawgs saved their best performance of the season thus far for their home opener Monday night against state-ranked Greenwood.
It was an endurance contest or an epic match or both.
Aurora and Greenwood battled to a 1-all score after regulation 80 minutes of soccer and then through two 10-minute overtime periods.
Aurora edged Greenwood 6-5 in penalty kicks to come away with a 2-1 victory.
Kris Lopez earned a tie score in regulation with a free kick that found the upper right corner of the goal and Clemente Reyes made 14 saves in goal, including the final two on penalty kicks that helped seal the deal for the Houn Dawgs.
Aurora — 3-2 overall this season — will face five games in five days with three slated Friday and Saturday in the Parkview Tournament (Joplin, Crocker, West Plains) and two in road matches Monday and Tuesday against Monett and Thomas Jefferson. The Houn Dawgs’ next home match will be Thursday against Neosho.
Aurora reached the championship game of the Cassville Tournament and finished second after taking a 4-1 defeat to state-ranked New Covenant.
Head coach Curtis Bishop said the loss to New Covenant was not because of a lack of effort but because the Houn Dawgs just did not play smart soccer against a quality opponent.
Aurora did earn a tie score against New Covenant with a goal by senior Mark Hostetter off a cross by freshman Armando Alvarez.
New Covenant rattled off the last three goals.
Earlier in the Cassville Tournament, Aurora defeated Thomas Jefferson 1-0 and Cassville 1-0.
Lester Perez scored the lone goal against Thomas Jefferson and Reyes made five saves. Perez also scored the only goal against Cassville and Reyes finished with six saves.