LINDALE – A magical season that included three playoff wins and 20 victories overall ended for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats Tuesday in the soccer regional quarterfinals.
Mesquite Poteet scored a pair of second-half goals to erase a 1-0 SSHS halftime lead en route to a 2-1 victory in the Class 4A playoffs. With the victory, the Pirates earned a trip to the regional tournament this weekend.
Sulphur Springs took a 1-0 lead on a 35-yard free kick by Erick Robles with 8:38 to play in the first half. But, Poteet tied the game a little over three minutes into the second half and scored the eventual winning goal with 15:23 to play.
While the playoff game was a match-up of head coaching brother-in-laws – SSHS’ Andy Holt and Poteet’s Colby Peek are married to sisters – Holt was more concerned with his players after the game.
“I’m proud of them,“ Holt said. “We had a great season and made a great run. We beat a lot of great teams to get where we were today. This was a great team we played, and we played them tough.”
This year’s team tied the 2006 squad for most playoff victories in a season with three and ended the season with a stellar 20-4-5 record.
The Wildcats were limited by an injured Tony Bravo, the school’s all-time scoring leader, whose tender right ankle made it difficult for him to strike with his dominant foot. Holt said Bravo was “about 75 percent,” but the senior forward took just one shot on goal.
That shot came with 8:45 to play when Robles crossed the ball from the left corner to the right side of the net, but Bravo’s ankle gave out on him and he stumbled as he tried to shoot, sending the ball to the right of the post.
“We didn’t have a whole lot” Holt explained. “Tony couldn’t kick the ball with his right foot. When you can’t kick the ball with your right foot, then it makes it tough to score goals.”
The Wildcats played tough defense in the first half, with goal keeper Moises Torres accounting for a pair of saves. He got help from Robles, Nazario Arellano, Uriel Gutierrez and Alex Torres on the back line. Arellano and Leo Sanchez each stopped potential scoring advances and Gutierrez defelcted a shot deep in the SSHS end midway through the quarter.
The scoreless game was broken with 8:38 to go in the half when SSHS took a free kick from 35 yards out, and Robles hit a low, knuckling shot that handcuffed the Poteet keeper enough that the ball was able to squirt by him and trickle across the line for a 1-0 Wildcat lead.
The second half started ominously for the Wildcats when Poteet’s Trent Wisdom wove through defenders to hit a shot into the upper left corner of the net at the 37:52 mark. Poteet’s Carlos Cardenas broke the 1-1 tie at 15:23 when he used his speed to dribble in from midfield and take a shot from 20 yards out that was a replica of Wisdom’s goal into the upper left corner.
“Somebody was going to have to make a play, and unfortunately it wasn’t us tonight,” Holt said. “They made one more play than we did. It was a great shot – two great shots. They were both in the corner, pretty much unstoppable for our keeper. They made some great plays.”
Sulphur Springs took their first shot on goal of the second half with 19 minutes to go on a 25-yard shot by Robles that sailed high. They added four more shots in the final minutes, but none were able to make it into the net.
|< Prev||Next >|