Ardmore boys soccer uses 2nd-half rally to beat Santa Fe South
ARDMORE — John Connor is only in his first year as head coach of the Ardmore boys soccer team, but he knew how big it would be to get a win Friday over district foe Santa Fe South.
It didn't look good for the Tigers early on, but they found their roar in the second half for a 2-1 victory over the Saints.
“I’m not going to lie, from day one looking at the schedule, this was the game I wanted,” Connor said. “It’s OK matching against other teams around the area, but being able to match up with this team shows that Ardmore High School definitely has a chance to do something special.”
The Tigers proved that with a pair of impressive second-half goals. Rudy Vargas scored the first one after John Mason set him up perfectly for a breakaway to knot the game 1-1 with 28:57 remaining.
Neither team could take the upper hand for the next 20 minutes until Ardmore capitalized on a corner kick. Juan Lopez sent the ball in on a short pass, received it back before sending it flying into the box for Mason, who connected on a header for a 2-1 lead with 9:24 left in the game.
“I always tell my guys, ‘If we get a chance to play fast off a corner, we’re going to do that,’” Connor said. “It’s even better when you don’t have to coach it.”
That ability has paid dividends for the Tigers as they not only picked up win No. 9 of the season, but also ended a two-match losing streak.
“We got a little bit unlucky and lost a few players in the last couple of games,” Connor said. “We’re a tight team, so losing one is a big thing for us. We’re glad to have all the boys back and glad to get the result against a powerhouse team.”
Ardmore (9-2, 2-1 District 5A-2) hits the road to battle Duncan (2-7, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 6. The Tigers then play their final regular season home match at 7 p.m. Friday, April 16 against Western Heights.