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The Tigers' sc-Orr-ing machine

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

For the second consecutive year the Central Tigers have added a new name to their record books.

A year after Central's all-time leading goal scorer, Jon Mark Thompson, tied the single-season goal scoring record of 26, junior Heath Orr set a new mark with two goals versus Farmington Monday in district play. Orr, who now has 27 goals on the season, stands all alone at the top of the single-season list.

Orr, who honed his finishing skills in the offseason with the Iron Kids club team out of St. Charles, Mo., said the key to his goal scoring success is the team's possession-style offense.

"It usually starts from the defense and we build it up from there," he said.

Another factor is the teams familiarity with each other, especially the juniors.

"They basically have played together all the way up," Central coach Tom Doyle said. "They kind of know where each other is going to be before they do."

Orr's big numbers this season have come as somewhat of a surprise, after putting up only eight goals last season.

Central coach Tom Doyle said Orr's season has eased some of his fears after losing Thompson's scoring presence.

"That was one of my big concerns coming in," he said.

Orr said he certainly didn't expect to have the type of offensive season he's had.

"We have a great team," he said. "They deserve the credit as much as I do."

Monday's performance was just one of many big nights for Orr this season. Orr has scored in 16 of the team's 24 games, including hat tricks against Rockbridge and Rolla, both state-ranked opponents. During one stretch of the season Orr scored in 11 consecutive games.

"He just has a real good sense where the goal is," Doyle said.

Despite Orr's success, so far opposing teams have not caught on to him.

"Sometimes I'll get double teamed, but not too often," he said.

When teams do decide to try to shut down Orr, he simply finds one of his teammates, resulting in nine assists this season.

"Even if he doesn't score, he opens it up for other people," Doyle said.

For Orr though, all the goals in the world can't replace the chance to go to state.

"I hope to have a great scoring season next year, but I want to win state more than anything else," Orr said.

Orr and his Tiger teammates will take their next step toward a state birth, as they face off with Poplar Bluff (18-5-1) for the district title tonight at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be the fourth of the season between the two teams, with Central (17-6-1) taking all three including a 2-1 overtime victory in their last meeting Oct. 16. Orr scored both goals in the overtime win.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

DISTRICT SOCCERToday

Class 3, District 1 Tournament

at Poplar Bluff

Championship

Central (17-6-1) vs. Poplar Bluff (18-5-1), 5:30 p.m.Class 2, District 1 Tournament

at Notre Dame

Championship

Notre Dame (16-5) vs. St. Pius (13-11-2), 7 p.m.


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