The bi-district round of the soccer playoffs wrapped up for most teams on Friday, and locally, while many of the favorites held up, it was not easy in many cases.
Frasier Stadium in Mesquite played host to a double-header that saw 9-6A send a pair of teams to the area round as Sachse and Naaman Forest each emerged with victories.
The Mustangs, the second seed out of 9-6A, took control early and never looked back en route to a 4-0 victory over Royse City.
Sachse staved off an early-minute blitz by the Bulldogs and then was its own pressure was rewarded with a penalty kick, which Cooper Tea converted less than seven minutes into the match.
Royse City then hurt itself in the worst of ways when an errant pass forced its goalkeeper to use his hands outside of the box, resulting in a red card and a one-man shortage for the remainder of the match.
The Mustangs quickly capitalized, as Luis DeLeon curled a 22-yard shot into the corner of the net, and just a short time later, Tea notched his second of the half to give them a 3-0 advantage.
Sachse controlled the remainder of the first half, as well, and it continued into the second, where it tacked on one insurance goal to move on to the area finals to take on Mansfield on Monday or Tuesday at a time and place to be determined.
In the opener of the double-header, 9-6A champion Naaman Forest jumped out to an early lead and made it stand up until the end to post a 4-1 victory over Horn.
The Rangers struck first in the eighth minute. Ryan Resendiz put a shot on goal via a free kick, but while the save was made, the ball squirted loose and Kevin Basilio was there to knock in the rebound to grab the early advantage.
Less than four minutes later, Alonso Torres got free for a shot that rang off the post and into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The Jaguars settled down from there, and started to create some opportunities of their own, but they were unable to capitalize.
While Horn was able to even the flow, it got hurt late in the first half when it was whistled for a hand ball, which Naaman Forest’s David Jilote converted to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
Despite the deficit, the Jaguars came out fired up in the second half, and that resolve paid off in the first minute when Miguel Duran got free and nailed a shot into the corner of the net to cut it to 3-1.
But Naaman Forest had a quick answer, as Josh Ford made a nice move around a pair of defenders and slid the pass across to Torres for an easy tap-in goal to push the advantage back to 4-1 with 34:36 left.
Horn tried to mount a comeback, and while it had a couple of good chances in the following minutes, Rangers keeper Alexander Medlin was up to the challenge turning back both, and that theme would remain until the end.
Naaman Forest will meet Mansfield Lake Ridge next week in the area finals.
In another 9-6A/10-6A boys match-up, Tyler Legacy got a first-half goal from Knox Hicks and that was the difference as it claimed a 1-0 victory over Rowlett at Homer B. Johnson Stadium.
The 9-6A girls were not as fortunate, as Sachse and Rowlett both came up on the short end of the scoreboard.
The Mustangs, the second seed in the playoffs, lost a coin flip and had to head East and Tyler Legacy was able to protect its home turf with a 2-1 victory.
Jenna Barnes gave the Raiders the lead with a goal in the first half and she added another early in the second to make it 2-0.
Sachse got on the board midway through the second half when Bailey Malone scored off a free kick to cut the deficit in half, but that is where it would end.
The Eagles ran into a Rockwall buzzsaw, as the Yellowjackets got off to a strong start and never let up en route to a 8-0 victory at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium.
Lexi Crispin scored a pair of goals and Miranda Countryman, Morgan Countryman, Ayla Garcia, Avery Shipman, Iriana Sarpy and Katherine Mees also scored.
If there was any question that Frisco ISD has the best top-to-bottom soccer in the state, it might have been answered in the opening round of the playoffs, as FISD engaged in some memorable head-to-head battles.
One day after the defending state champion Wakeland girls were pushed into a shootout, the reigning champion Wolverines boys were put in the same situation.
But as champions do, Wakeland found a way.
Centennial scored first on a goal by Lennon Kindred, but the Wolverines notched the equalizer and eventually outlasted the Titans in a shootout to advance to the area round.
There, Wakeland, ranked No. 5 in the Lethal Enforcer Soccer 5A Region II poll, will face 12-5A champion West Mesquite, the No. 4 team in the rankings, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mesquite Memorial Staidum.
Lone Star, the 9-5A champion and No. 1 seed, took care of business with a 3-0 victory over Memorial on Friday at Kuykendall Stadium.
Tucker Eason tallied a pair of goals and Salim Chavez added another as the Rangers, ranked second in the regional poll, marched on to the area finals to take on No. 23 Bryan Adams, who was a 3-2 winner over Thomas Jefferson.
Reedy, the No. 12 team in the regional rankings, was able to post a 3-1 win over No. 20 Independence in its bi-district game at Reedy High School.
The Lions’ victory earns them a date in the area round with North Mesquite.
The Stallions battled W.T. White to a scoreless draw through regulation and two overtimes but were able to post a 4-1 advantage in penalties to advance, with that match set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Toyota Stadium.
While a bulk of the FISD girls matches took place on Thursday, there was one left to be settled on Friday, and that saw Reedy earn a 2-0 win over Memorial at Kuykendall Staidum.
Zaara Jacobs and Deze Scott each scored for the Lions and the defense took care of the rest, as they moved on to the area finals to face Sunset, who surprised 12-5A champion Poteet in the bi-district round in a 2-1 victory.
That was the start of a tough night for 12-5A, as W.T. White outlasted North Mesquite in a shootout and Hillcrest ended West Mesquite’s season with a 6-0 win.
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