Peffers leads Arnold’s rally past Rutherford

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 13:40 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Trailing by two goals seemed to fuel Arnold’s competitive fire Monday night.

Austin Peffers scored a goal and added two assists, and the Marlins stormed back to defeat Rutherford 4-2 in a District 2-3A boys soccer game at the Mike Gavlak Sports Complex.

Arnold improved to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the district. The Rams’ record was unavailable.

Chase Cantrell provided the Marlins’ go-ahead goal in the 34th minute when he outhustled nearby defenders to a loose ball in front of the net and coerced it into the goal for a 3-2 lead at halftime. Peffers’ free kick skimmed off the wet grass in front of Rams goalkeeper Mohamed Aboulela and ricoheted to the left side of the goal for Cantrell.

The Marlins showed an ability to counter quickly and generate scoring opportunities with clever passes to streaking forwards running behind the Rutherford defense. Arnold’s first-year coach, Aaron Murphy, said he was mixing combinations of players.

The young Marlins, who play with just one senior and three juniors on the varsity roster, fell behind early as a scoreless tie quickly turned into a 2-0 lead for Rutherford. Rams forward Randall Menzel scored a pair of goals moments apart in the 14th and 17th minutes, respectively.

Menzel collected a well-placed pass from Matthew Baumgartner in Arnold’s 18-yard box, and he sneaked a shot under the body of hard-charging Marlin goalkeeper Trevor Jaquay for a 1-0 lead. He added another goal four minutes later with a rocket off his right foot to give Rutherford a short-lived 2-0 advantage.

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