FRISCO BOYS SOCCER DIEGO PEPI

Frisco’s Diego Pepi battles for the ball during Tuesday’s playoff match against Longview. Pepi scored a late goal, but the Lobos were able to hang on for a 3-2 victory in a Class 5A Region 2 semifinal match at Frasier Stadium in Mesquite.

Frisco and Longview were both in uncharted waters on Tuesday.

The Raccoons had not reached the fourth round of the boys soccer playoffs since 2007, when many of the players were just learning how to kick a ball.

The Lobos had never been this far in the playoffs.

One could hardly tell from the play on the field, as the teams both played at a high level worthy of being state title contenders.

But it was Longview who was able to strike for two goals in a four-minute stretch midway through the second half, and a late Frisco push was not quite enough, as the Lobos held on for a 3-2 victory in a Class 5A Region 2 semifinal match at Frasier Stadium in Mesquite.

The Lobos (21-5-1) advance to the regional finals where they will face a team that is accustomed to this position when they take on Wakeland (21-1-1), who will be making its sixth straight Region 2 championship appearance, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sulphur Springs.

Frisco and Longview wasted little time feeling one another out, as the Lobos had a couple of chances in the first three minutes and the Raccoons quickly countered, with Danny Agui narrowly missing the net.

They continued going back and forth until Frisco struck first when Drew Burris gathered a loose ball and put the ball in the corner of the net to take a 1-0 lead with 15:58 left in the first half.

The Lobos quickly set about countering, and after Chino Rojas was denied once on a nice save, he came right back on the following corner kick with a header that found the back of the net to tie it at 1-1 with 6:32 remaining before the break.

It stayed that way through halftime and Frisco had a couple of early chances in the second half that were turned aside.

Longview then hit its stride about 10 minutes in, as it started to control possession and get the bulk of the scoring opportunities.

That pressure paid off when Rojas slid a nice pass down the right side to Pancho Hernandez, who then sent a cross that found Royce McConnell in front of the net and the senior headed the ball just past the keeper to give them a 2-1 lead with 27:06 left.

Just four minutes later, Arturo Gurrola collected the ball deep in the left corner and passed across to Rojas, who dribbled through two defenders and then beat the keeper on a 10-yard blast to the near post to make it 3-1 with 23:05 left.

The Raccoons did not go away quietly, but the Lobos were able to fend off the attack until the final 65 seconds, when Ricky Casso sent a pass into the box and Diego Pepi was able to track down the loose ball and bury it in the net to close to within 3-2 with 1:05 left.

But Longview was able to avoid any serious threat in the final minute, allowing them to run out the clock and start the celebration.

The Lobos will face their toughest task to date in the regional championship against Wakeland, who posted a 2-0 victory over Nacogdoches in Athens as they continue their pursuit of a fifth consecutive state title game appearance.

The Wolverines struck first when Brennan Bezdek sent a corner kick into the box that Kyle Davis headed into the net to take a 1-0 lead.

With the defense doing its job, Wakeland added some insurance when Ryan Greener passed the ball to Jak Keith, who then found Bezdek for a goal to extend the advantage to 2-0 and that is the way it would end.

Sachse was hoping to make its second regional championship appearance, but was edged out in penalties, 4-3, by Bridgeland in a Class 6A Region 2 semifinal in Mexia.

The Bears came out firing in tallying three goals, but the Mustangs (20-4-4) matched them, as Cooper Tea recorded a hat trick, with assists coming courtesy of Ethan Sampson and Harun Spahalic, as the game extended through overtime and into penalty kicks.

Unfortunately for Sachse, that is where the playoff road came to an end, as Bridgeland was able to do just enough to earn the victory.

On the girls side, one Frisco ISD team is returning to a familiar place, while another saw its historic run come to an end.

Wakeland(17-2-3) rolled to a 6-0 victory over Forney in a Class 5A Region 2 semifinal match at Carrollton’s Standridge Stadium.

The Wolverines, who won the state title back in 2018, took little time getting started, as McKenna Jenkins found the back of the net to give them a 1-0 lead, and Jenkins scored again a short time later off a feed from Katy Gregson to make it 2-0.

Wakeland poured it on from there, as Faith Bell set up Bella James for a goal and Brooke Hartshorn scored off an assist from Nina Tavares to open a 4-0 lead in the first half.

The Wolverines added to their advantage in the second half, as Jenkins completed her hat trick off a feed from Sophia Pehr, and Ally Perry assisted on Hartshorn’s second goal to provide the final 6-0 margin.

Memorial (16-3-3) made the playoffs for the first time this season and had made the most of it by advancing four rounds deep.

That journey came to an end on Tuesday, as traditional power Highland Park (21-0-0) was able to hold off the upstart Warriors to claim a 2-1 shootout victory in Coppell.

Memorial struck first to take a 1-0 lead, but the Scots were able to counter to tie it up at 1-1 and it remained that way through the end of regulation and two overtimes.

In penalty kicks, Highland Park was able to do just enough to pull out the win and set a regional championship date with Wakeland, with that match scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you

Load comments