By Tony Burns
Weather has been the big story for several spring sports this season with games postponed or cancelled. No where has the rain fallen harder than on El Dorado’s soccer schedule, which has had four games affected by the weather.
Coach Neville Matthews admitted his teams have struggled to get into any kind of a groove due to the sporadic games.
“It’s kind of killed our flow,” he said.
El Dorado will host Lake Hamilton today in a game that was originally scheduled to be played last Friday. Action begins at 4 p.m. with the junior varsity.
The Wildcats did get two games in last week, losing at Hot Springs Lakeside 4-0 on Tuesday and at DeQueen 5-0 on Thursday. El Dorado’s boys bring a 4-5-2 record into today’s play.
“The boys have had some formidable competition against teams like Lakeside and DeQueen, which have been formidable teams in the past. We did well against them. They just have so many weapons,” said Matthews, who took over the boys team this season. He said the team is still adjusting to his personality and to a different style of play.
“We are about at 65 percent of where I want them to be. I’ve got a couple issues I have to make some adjustments on. I don’t have a deep bench so it’s a big chess match. I’m working with what I’ve got.”
The Lady Wildcats are 9-2 overall and 2-2 in league. El Dorado’s girls won at DeQueen 4-2 last week, avenging one of their two losses.
After sluggish performances against subpar competition early in the season, Matthews said he likes the way the Lady Wildcats are coming along.
“Pretty good, actually,” he said. “We lost to Texarkana in a shootout. That was the first game after Spring Break. They were very sluggish. They didn’t play that game at all. And then we played DeQueen and we lost on a free kick, which was no big deal. We made up for that. I’m sure we’re going to make up for Texarkana, also.”
El Dorado is looking forward to getting back on the field today, especially in front of friendly fans.
“Lake Hamilton has improved a lot. When we played them at their place, we beat them 2-1 but that was very early in the season. I’m sure they’ve gotten better and we’ve gotten a whole lot better, too,” Matthews said. “So, I’m very excited about that game. It’s going to be a good gauge for us.”