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Demopolis soccer ties in opener

Demopolis (0-0-1) led most of the way before watching Hillcrest (0-0-1) score in the final moments to bring the Tigers’ season-opener to a close with a 2-2 tie.

Hillcrest’s Kris Riggs struck first, knocking in a shot with 32:30 remaining in the first half to give the Patriots the early lead.

Demopolis responded less than three minutes later when Alan Brooker dropped it off to his cousin, Tyler Brooker, who put it into the net with just under 30 minutes to go in the opening half. The Tigers took the lead a little more than 15 minutes later when Jarvis Lawson scored off a corner kick with 14:08 to go in the half.

“First half we had 90 percent possession of the ball in our half (of the field),” Demopolis head coach Peter Keen said. “Obviously we should have more scores than we had.”

The Tigers controlled the ball for much of the second half as well, allowing a total of only six shots on goal by the Patriots in the entire game.

However, with 3:09 left on the scoreboard, Hillcrest’s Michael Krause broke through for the game-tying goal.

“They carried it 2-1 and then they give it there at the end with two minutes left in the game,” Keen said of his team. “I’m very disappointed. That’s just something we’re going to have to work on.”

Demopolis took 21 shots on goal in the game, narrowly missing on a multiple chances down the stretch that would have lengthened the lead. According to Keen, an inability to finish opportunities was a key shortcoming of the 2008 squad. The same proved to be a struggle in the first game of the team’s 2009 season.

“It’s being able to touch the ball well,” Keen said of finishing. “Finishing is being able to touch that ball, to make things happen when most people give up.”

Demopolis plays again Friday when it travels to Northridge.