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Jose Hernandez, Jared Smiley and Christian McKeown of the host Bulldogs made the all-tournament team after Saturday’s fifth annual Mexico Invitational at the MMS soccer fields.
Mexico High School soccer boys dropped a 2-1 decision to Chillicothe in the opening round before storming back to beat Montgomery County 8-0 for third place.
McKeown scored on a free kick in the seventh minute of Mexico’s morning contest, only to see Chillicothe do likewise in the 31st minute and produce the game-winner 12 minutes into the second half.
“This was another one of those losses we’ve seen so much this year,” MHS coach Chris Hotop remarked. “The game was played evenly; we just couldn’t generate any offense.”
Hotop said his varsity squad didn’t show much energy in the afternoon finale for the first 30 minutes or so.
But that changed dramatically when Austin Miller found the range in the 34th minute on a Hernandez assist, then scored again two minutes later with Sean Kelly assisting.
Hernandez assisted on a McKeown goal to make it 3-0 at halftime. Second-half goals for the 6-12 Bulldogs came from Elijah Robinson, McKeown, Gib Graham, Kelly and Miller; McKeown had two assists.
“Our back line of Mathias Whitworth, Smiley, Alex Hobbs and Cristian Vega did a good job of keeping the pressure off goalie Logan Ray,” the MHS coach noted.
“Austin’s first goal seemed to re-energize the team and the game became more fun for them. Elijah, Gib and Sean scored their first goals of the year, and Jared Melton and Josue Lopez played important roles in helping us keep the offensive pressure on Montgomery County.”
Chilicothe beat Elsberry 2-0 in the championship game. Next up for the Bulldogs is a Tuesday trip to NCMC rival Moberly.