Quick start: Tors score twice in first half

SULPHUR — This time Sulphur Tors didn’t wait until the second half.

The sixth-ranked Tors scored twice in the first half to beat the No. 27 Bucs 3-0 in the opening round of the Division I soccer playoffs in a persistent dense fog Tuesday at Matt Walker Memorial Stadium.

“It was kind of weird to play a team for the third time, but as you can see right now the guys are very excited,” Sulphur head coach Trevor Foolkes said. “I am excited for the win.”

On Jan. 22, Barbe (7-11-3) raced to a 2-0 lead only to see the Tors (19-2-2) rally to win 4-2. This time the Bucs couldn’t replicate the start.

“That is a lot of seniors (14) over there (Sulphur),” Barbe head coach Todd Hoffpauir said. “They play like a lot of seniors, and we are a young team.

“They showed us what we need to do to get to the next level. They were super intense. They won everything in the air. Hopefully we can take this as a learning lesson so we can regroup and get better for next year.”

Barbe keeper Reed Boyd made two huge saves in a 2-minute span to keep the game scoreless early. He broke up a crossing pass from Hayden Habetz to Robert Campos. Then he stopped a Habetz penalty kick at the goal line. But the Tors came right back as Habetz scored his 14th goal of the season in the 14th minute.

“That is the story of our season,” Foolkes said. “I think we have missed eight PKs this year, so we are used to that.

“You miss one opportunity and hopefully, your team gets another, and we got one pretty quick, and we were able to capitalize on that one.”

In the 24th minute, the Tors made an offensive push as Ethan Moss brought the ball up the middle and passed to Tyler Moreaux, who made a point-blank shot for a 2-0 lead.

The Tors tried to add to their lead early in the second half, but Boyd stopped shots by Campos and Moreaux. Boyd finished with 11 saves.

Neil Dupre scored the Tors’ third goal in the 78th minute with Campos credited with his second assist of the game.

The third meeting between the rivals was heated from the first whistle with multiple fouls, cards, and hard, physical plays.

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